Taking numerous courses of antibiotics may cause more serious infections, leading to a higher risk of hospital admissions, according to a study published in the journal BMC Medicine.
The study is based on the data of two million patients in England and Wales.
Findings of the Study
- Patients who have had nine or more antibiotic prescriptions for common infections in the previous three years were 2.26 times more likely to go to hospital with another infection in three or more months.
- It not clear why hospital admissions are linked to higher prescriptions.
- The risks of going to hospital with another infection were related to the number of the antibiotic prescriptions in the previous three years.
- A course is defined by the team as being given over a period of one or two weeks. “GPs care about their Researchers said doctors may prescribe numerous courses of antibiotics over several years, which according to the study increases the risk of a more serious infection.
Prescribing Antibiotics for a Common Infection
Prescribing antibiotics for a common infection, even though it’s not certain whether it’s viral or bacterial, might be easier when there is little time, the researchers noted. GPs often have little time to get to grips with the detail of a patient’s history. But what makes it even more difficult is that little official guidance exists for patients who already in the recent past had several courses of antibiotics for common infections.