Sara Ackerman, PhD, MPH; Ralph Gonzales, MD, MSPH
Potential Conflicts of Interest: None disclosed. Forms can be viewed at www.acponline.org/authors/icmje/ConflictOfInterestForms.do?msNum=M12-1493.
Requests for Single Reprints: Ralph Gonzales, MD, MSPH, 3333 California Street, Box 1211, San Francisco, CA 94118; e-mail, email@example.com.
Current Author Addresses: Dr. Ackerman: 185 Berry Street, Suite 5700, Box 0560, San Francisco, CA 94107.
Dr. Gonzales: 3333 California Street, Box 1211, San Francisco, CA 94118.
Ackerman S., Gonzales R.; The Context of Antibiotic Overuse. Ann Intern Med. 2012;157:211-212. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-157-3-201208070-00013
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2012;157(3):211-212.
Overuse of antibiotics is a vexing problem in biomedicine. Antibiotic use, especially broad-spectrum antibiotics, is increasing around the world, and a substantial proportion of prescriptions in the United States and other countries is used for viral illnesses that do not respond to these drugs. Antibiotic overuse is costly and contributes to bacterial resistance, but unnecessary prescribing is commonplace. Antibiotic prescribing also varies widely among individual clinicians and geographic regions.
The persistence and variability of this problem point to the reality that prescribing decisions, in particular those for respiratory illnesses, are rarely based on clinical factors alone. As a result, antibiotic overuse powerfully illustrates the importance of “context” to medical practice.
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Infectious Disease, Pulmonary/Critical Care, Influenza.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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