A study found that bronchitis sufferers who are otherwise healthy do not get better any faster by taking antibiotics. "Antibiotics for the vast majority of people don't seem to make much difference," said Dr. Paul Little, author of the five-year study of patients in England. Moreover, many bronchitis cases are caused by viruses, which antibiotics do not fight.
Little said that otherwise healthy patients can skip the drugs to treat the chest infections, even though they will feel crummy for a couple of weeks. But patients with conditions such as chronic lung and heart disease that can cause bronchitis to develop into pneumonia should see their doctors, he said.
In the study, coughing lasted an average of 11 days after patients saw their doctors, whether they got antibiotics or not. Other symptoms, such as phlegm and shortness of breath, were reduced by less than a day for people treated with amoxicillin or erythromycin.
The study, based on 640 patients ages 3 and older, was published in Wednesday's Journal of the American Medical Association. The study excluded patients with conditions that could complicate their bronchitis, such as asthma or heart and lung disease.
Courtesy of AP 6/22/2005
One in eight children develop the eye condition conjunctivitis each year and in many cases family doctors use the antibiotic chloramphenicol to treat it.
But an Oxford University study in the Lancet said the cure rate was nearly the same if the drops were used or not.
Researchers urged parents to wash children's eyes with warm water rather than use the drops.
The Medicine and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, the UK drugs regulator, announced earlier this month the eye drops would become the first antibiotic to be made available without prescription.
Steve - Like this is a surprise? We have been saying for years that antibiotics do not treat viral infections. Finally, doctors are starting to take notice and reducing the amount of antibiotics they prescribe.