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New Australian studies reveal that both infants and GP office patients are exposed to considerably more antibiotics than needed

A brand new study has evaluated Australian children’s exposure to antibiotics in their first year of life. The antibiotic prescription rate in Australia was found to be near the top of high-income countries. The viral respiratory tract infections accounted for almost a fifth of the prescriptions – yet the antibiotics do not help in these conditions.

In addition to generating antimicrobial resistance, the antibiotics can affect the long-term health of children by altering their microbiome which may be important in chronic diseases such as allergy, asthma and cardiovascular disease.

The observed overprescribing of antibiotics is in line with another recent Australian study where it was found that antibiotics were prescribed for acute respiratory infections at 4-9 times higher rates than recommended by the Australian Therapeutic Guidelines.

Large analyses such as these may give a positive boost for optimizing the prescription practices and thereby helping save the power of antibiotics in the future as well.

Read more:
Prevalence and determinants of antibiotic exposure in infants: A population-derived Australian birth cohort study
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jpc.13616/epdf

Antibiotics for acute respiratory infections in general practice: comparison of prescribing rates with guideline recommendations.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28701117

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