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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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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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A Radical Plan To Save Antibiotics

Posted 7 Sep 2010 by Drugs.com

From Guardian Web (September 7, 2010) What are we to do about the diminishing power of antibiotics - once the miracle drugs that looked set to end infectious diseases? We know the problem is becoming very serious - here is a piece I wrote about the alarming prospects for a future without antibiotics. But we don’t hear much in the way of imaginative answers. So it’s refreshing to read a paper out this morning from Aaron Kesselheim, from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, and Kevin Outterson, a professor at Boston University Law School. Their analysis, published in the journal Health Affairs, says the usual idea, to give pharmaceutical companies financial incentives to invent and manufacture more antibiotics, won’t work. One of the reasons we are in this parlous state of affairs, they say, is that drug companies in the past have tried too hard to sell more ... Read more

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Antibiotic Resistance Can Last a Year, Review Finds

Posted 19 May 2010 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, May 18 – Some patients who take antibiotics may become resistant to them and stay that way for as long as a year, a new review finds. The researchers analyzed 24 studies of antibiotic resistance, in which people develop a partial or full immunity to the powers of a medication. The studies looked at use of the drugs in primary care, most often for respiratory or urinary tract infections. Antibiotic resistance is at its height in the month after a drug is prescribed, but the effect may last for a year, according to the findings published online May 18 in BMJ. "Primary care clinicians and patients may wish to consider this evidence when discussing the benefits and risks of prescribing and consuming antibiotics," study author Alastair Hay, consultant senior lecturer in primary health care at the University of Bristol in England, and colleagues concluded. In an accompanying ... Read more

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Penicillin Allergy Might Not Include Related Antibiotic

Posted 27 Feb 2010 by Drugs.com

SATURDAY, Feb. 27 – Most patients who have a history of penicillin allergy can safely take antibiotics called cephalosporins, U.S. researchers say. Cephalosporins – which are related to penicillin in their structure, uses and effects – are the most frequently prescribed class of antibiotics. "Almost all patients undergoing major surgery receive antibiotics to reduce the risk of infections. Many patients with a history of penicillin allergy don't get the cephalosporin because of a concern of possible drug reaction. They might get a second-choice antibiotic that is not quite as effective," study author Dr. James T. Li, of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., said in a news release from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. He and his colleagues conducted penicillin allergy skin tests on 178 patients who reported a history of severe allergic (anaphylactic) reaction to ... Read more

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Low-Dose Antibiotics May Promote Drug Resistance

Posted 15 Feb 2010 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Feb. 12 – U.S. scientists have discovered another way that improper antibiotic use can lead to the development of dangerous multidrug-resistant bacteria. Multidrug-resistant bacteria such as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) are a common, potentially deadly problem for hospital patients. To fight these so-called superbugs, doctors and pharmaceutical companies need to understand how these bacteria develop resistance to treatment, researchers say. It's widely believed that an incomplete course of antibiotics enable bacteria to survive and make changes that allow them to become resistant to that particular antibiotic. However, this new study by researchers at Boston University and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute shows that low doses of an antibiotic can result in mutant strains of bacteria that are susceptible to that particular antibiotic but have ... Read more

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Antibiotics Bought Easily on the Internet

Posted 2 Feb 2010 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Sept. 15 – Consumers who decide on their own that they need antibiotics can easily find and buy the medications on the Internet, without the benefit of a prescription, new research shows. The practice is illegal, the study authors said, and could contribute to an overuse of antibiotics that is known to create resistant bacteria which, in turn, can cause life-threatening infections. One expert agreed the trend has troubling implications. "The expanded and uncontrolled use of antibiotics is a public health hazard because of the impact on creating multiple drug-resistant bacteria," said Dr. Robert Schwartz, chair of the department of family medicine and community health at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. "We already have a problem in our country with physicians overprescribing antibiotics . . . Allowing individuals in society unrestricted access to antibiotics ... Read more

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