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Study Sees Antibiotic Overuse Among Home-Care Patients

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A study of Canadian home-care patients indicates doctors may be over-prescribing antibiotics for patients receiving ongoing medical care at home. The study, published in the June issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, suggests that more should be done to observe antibiotic use in home-care patients to avoid misuse, Studies have shown that misuse of antibiotics could decrease the efficacy of the drugs over time.

The study, led by researchers from McMaster University in Ontario, states that antibiotic prescriptions for home-care patients are quite common, with more than 6,800 patients receiving the drugs. Medical data on the patients reveal disturbing prescribing patterns, says Dr. Mark Loeb, one of the study’s authors.

Loeb points out that patients under the age of 65 were substantially more likely to receive antibiotics, pointing out that physicians may be overly cautious with younger patients. In contrast, patients with longer life expectancies were less likely to receive antibiotics, despite the fact they would likely benefit more from the drugs compared to patients with poorer life expectancies.

Adding concern is that the study shows the most common class of antibiotics prescribed in the study was fluoroquinolones, a class of drugs often associated with increased rates of resistance. Overuse of these drugs could weaken their efficacy, threatening their effectiveness against these and other emerging infections. disclaimer: This article: Study Sees Antibiotic Overuse Among Home-Care Patients was posted on Thursday, June 16th, 2011 at 4:46 pm at and is filed under Uncategorized.

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