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Antibiotics Linked to Type 2 Diabetes Risk

Posted 1 day 17 hours ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 27, 2015 – Taking antibiotics might increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, new research suggests. Danish researchers found that people with type 2 diabetes tended to take more antibiotics in the years leading up to their diagnosis than Danes without the condition. "Patients with type 2 diabetes are overexposed to antibiotics compared with matched control persons without diabetes," said study researcher Dr. Kristian Hallundbaek Mikkelsen, a medical-doctoral student at the Center for Diabetes Research at Gentofte Hospital and the University of Copenhagen. "The overexposure is seen after, as well as 15 years, before the diagnosis of type 2 diabetes," Mikkelsen said. Although the researchers uncovered an association between antibiotic use and type 2 diabetes, it's important to note they did not establish a direct cause-and-effect relationship. For the study, the ... Read more

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Better Control of Drug-Resistant Germs Could Save Thousands of Lives: CDC

Posted 4 Aug 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Aug. 4, 2015 – An immediate, focused effort to halt the spread of antibiotic-resistant germs could save tens of thousands of lives and prevent hundreds of thousands of new infections over the next five years, a new government report suggests. As many as 37,000 lives could be saved, and 619,000 new infections prevented, if community health departments and health care facilities form tight support networks to quickly identify and address emerging outbreaks of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, said report author Dr. John Jernigan. He directs the Office of HAI (Health care-Associated Infections) Prevention Research and Evaluation at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "When health care facilities and health departments in a community work together to share information about resistance, and then use that information to guide and target prevention efforts, then we ... Read more

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Think You're Allergic to Penicillin? Maybe Not

Posted 7 Nov 2014 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Nov. 7, 2014 – Many Americans may check the box "allergic to penicillin" on medical forms, but new research suggests that most of them are mistaken. Follow-up testing revealed that most people who believed they were allergic to penicillin were actually not allergic to the antibiotic, according to two new studies. In one study, 94 percent of 384 people who believed they were allergic to penicillin tested negative for penicillin allergy. And in the second study, penicillin skin testing was performed on 38 people who believed they were allergic to the antibiotic, and all of them tested negative for such an allergy. The studies were to be presented Friday at the annual meeting of American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), in Atlanta. "A large number of people in our study who had a history of penicillin allergy were actually not allergic," Dr. Thanai Pongdee, lead ... Read more

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Medicines Are Biggest Culprit in Fatal Allergic Reactions: Study

Posted 10 Oct 2014 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Oct. 9, 2014 – Although food allergies have garnered a lot of attention lately, a new study reports that medications are actually the biggest cause of sudden deaths related to allergy. Over a little more than a decade, nearly 60 percent of the allergy-related deaths were caused by medications, while less than 7 percent were caused by food allergies, the study found. "Medications can be dangerous," said study researcher Dr. Elina Jerschow, director of the Drug Allergy Center at Montefiore Medical Center and assistant professor of medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, in New York City. While research from other countries has reported medications as a major culprit in anaphylaxis-related deaths, Jerschow said, the problem has been less defined in the United States. One reason is that there is no national registry for anaphylaxis deaths, she said. The study was ... Read more

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Informed Patients Can Help Stem Antibiotic Overuse

Posted 13 Sep 2013 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Sept. 13 – A local, low-cost information campaign that was primarily aimed at patients – although involving doctors and pharmacists as well – helped reduce antibiotic prescribing, according to a new study from Italy. Overuse of antibiotics is considered a major global public health concern because it can lead to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Unnecessary and inappropriate prescribing of antibiotics is common. This study, published Sept. 12 on BMJ.com, looked at an antibiotic education campaign implemented by local health officials in the provinces of Modena and Parma in 2011 to 2012. Nearby provinces where no such campaigns were implemented acted as a control group. Italy has one of the highest levels of antibiotic use in Europe, according to a journal news release. The campaign was designed to inform the general population that antibiotics are necessary in ... Read more

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Penicillin Prevents Return of Leg Infection Called Cellulitis: Study

Posted 1 May 2013 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, May 1 – For people who have suffered from cellulitis of the leg, a long course of low-dose penicillin prevents the painful infection from returning, British researchers report. Once the penicillin is stopped, however, its protective effect diminishes and the condition can flare up again, the researchers noted. "Low-dose penicillin substantially reduces the risk of further episodes of leg cellulitis in those who have had two or more previous episodes," said lead researcher Hywel Williams, a professor of dermato-epidemiology at the University of Nottingham. "The penicillin reduced recurrences from 37 percent in the group taking placebo to 22 percent in those taking penicillin," Williams said. "But this effect only occurred in the period that folks took the penicillin. When they stopped the 12 months of penicillin, the protective effect wore off." Cellulitis is a common ... Read more

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Antibiotic Prescribing Rates Vary by Region: Report

Posted 10 Apr 2013 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, April 10 – The chances that your doctor will give you antibiotics when you're sick may be influenced by geography, new research reveals. It's tough to know exactly what factors contributed to the regional variations the research team found in antibiotic prescription rates, said study author Lauri Hicks, medical director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Why is West Virginia more than double compared to Alaska? I imagine there are provider factors, patient factors and cultural factors that are all shaping the impact," Hicks said. Some patients may pressure physicians to give them what they perceive as a "quick fix" so they can get back to work sooner or return their sick child to day care, Hicks added. Unfortunately, that contributes to the growing problem of antibiotic resistance, she said. "We should be thinking of antibiotics not as a magic bullet, ... Read more

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Health Tip: Take Antibiotics Only When Needed

Posted 17 Jan 2013 by Drugs.com

-- The more you take an antibiotic unnecessarily, the more likely bacteria can adapt and become resistant to the drug. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers this advice to help prevent antibiotic resistance: Ask your doctor whether you need an antibiotic to treat your illness. Consider whether there are other ways to help you feel better that don't involve an antibiotic. Never take an antibiotic to treat a viral infection, such as the flu or common cold. An antibiotic can only treat infections that are bacterial, not viral. Always take an antibiotic exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Never skip a dose or stop taking it before your prescription is finished. Never take an antibiotic that was prescribed for someone else. Read more

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Health Tip: Use Antibiotics Wisely

Posted 22 Nov 2012 by Drugs.com

-- Your child must take an antibiotic according to a doctor's prescription or label instructions, to make sure the medicine works properly and doesn't foster drug-resistant bacteria. The American Academy of Pediatrics offers these tips for parents: Make sure your child takes the entire course of medication exactly as prescribed. Give your child an antibiotic prescribed just for him or her; never share an antibiotic prescribed for someone else. Schedule any follow-up appointment recommended by your pediatrician after the antibiotic is finished – for example, an ear exam after an ear infection. Be sure to call the pediatrician if your child has finished an antibiotic and still isn't feeling well. Read more

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Many Americans Still in the Dark About Antibiotic Resistance

Posted 13 Nov 2012 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 13 – Americans are not as smart about antibiotics and antibiotic resistance as they should be, a new poll shows. For instance, although almost 90 percent of Americans know that antibiotics are effective for treating bacterial infections, more than a third also erroneously believed the drugs can fight viral infections such as the common cold or the flu. "It's a common misperception that antibiotics can cure the common cold, and unnecessary overuse of antibiotics for illnesses like colds is dumping fuel on a wildfire of resistance," said Dr. Lauri Hicks, medical director of the "Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work" program at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The number of antibiotic-resistant "superbugs" is soaring. In 2005, almost 370,000 Americans were hospitalized with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), up from only about 2,000 in ... Read more

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Antibiotics in Childhood May Increase Bowel Disease Risk: Study

Posted 24 Sep 2012 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Sept. 24 – Use of certain antibiotics may put children at higher risk for developing bowel diseases, new research has found. The earlier children take antibiotics and the more they take, the higher the risk of later developing the inflammatory bowel diseases known as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, the researchers found. "There appears to be a 'dose response' effect," said Dr. Matt Kronman, assistant professor of pediatric infectious diseases at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. "The more antibiotics children took, the more their risk increased." Earlier studies had suggested a link between bowel disease and antibiotics use, but most of those studies had limitations. The new study, published online Sept. 24 in the journal Pediatrics, looked at data on more than 1 million children 17 years old or younger in nearly 500 health practices ... Read more

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Kids' Penicillin Allergy May Not Signal Other Drug Reactions

Posted 7 Mar 2012 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 7 – Children who are allergic to penicillin are not more likely than other kids to develop additional drug allergies, new research suggests. Pediatric patients who need antibiotics are often prescribed penicillin, the study authors noted. Prior research in adults has suggested that allergies to penicillin could be a signal for additional allergies to other medications. But in the new study, which included an analysis of 778 medical records from patients under the age of 18, of the 8 percent of children who had a positive skin test for penicillin allergy, just 21 percent were found to have allergies to additional drugs. In comparison, 23 percent of those with negative penicillin skin tests displayed multiple drug allergies. The findings were presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI), in Orlando, Fla. "I ... Read more

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Health Tip: Why Antibiotic Resistance Is Serious

Posted 16 Nov 2011 by Drugs.com

-- Antibiotic resistance occurs when a bacterium mutates and becomes immune to the effects of a specific antibiotic. You can help prevent antibiotic resistance by taking an antibiotic regimen only when necessary. Remember that antibiotics don't work against viral infections such as a cold or the flu. If you do begin taking an antibiotic, you should never skip a dose. Also, you should finish the entire amount that your doctor has prescribed, despite the fact that you might be feeling better. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says antibiotic-resistant bacteria are dangerous because: It may be difficult to find a medication that kills the bacteria. Resistant bacteria tend to spread more quickly between families and within communities. Infections become more difficult and more expensive to treat. People may die from a resistant infection before it can be treated ... Read more

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Docs Overprescribing Antibiotics for Home-Care Patients: Study

Posted 17 Jun 2011 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, June 17 – Amid increased threats of drug-resistant infections, a new study reveals that doctors may overprescribe antibiotics to patients receiving ongoing medical care at home. Researchers from McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, found that patients younger than 65 and those with poorer prognoses, in particular, are at greatest risk for misuse of the drugs. "Taken together, our results reveal tremendous variability in how and why antibiotics are prescribed, and that overuse in the home-care population is likely," said one of the study's authors, Dr. Mark Loeb. In conducting the study, published in the June issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, researchers compiled medical information on more than 125,000 patients receiving home care for more than 60 days over the course of one year. The findings suggested that doctors may be more cautious with younger ... Read more

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Smarten Up About Antibiotics, CDC Urges

Posted 18 Nov 2010 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Nov. 18 – Knowing when to take antibiotics – and when not to – can help fight the rise of deadly "superbugs," say experts at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About half of antibiotics prescribed are unnecessary or inappropriate, the agency says, and overuse has helped create bacteria that don't respond, or respond less effectively, to the drugs used to fight them. "Antibiotics are a shared resource that has become a scarce resource," said Dr. Lauri Hicks, a medical epidemiologist at the CDC. She's also medical director a of new program, Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work, that had its launch this week. "Everyone has a role to play in preventing the spread of antibiotic resistance," Hicks said. The stakes are high, said Dr. Arjun Srinivasan, CDC's associate director for health care-associated infection prevention programs. Almost every type of bacteria ... Read more

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