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Home Industry News Children with asthma ‘being prescribed antibiotics unnecessarily’

Children with asthma ‘being prescribed antibiotics unnecessarily’

14th September 2017

Children with asthma in the UK are being prescribed with unnecessary antibiotics, potentially increasing the risk of future infections becoming more difficult to treat.

This is according to a study from Erasmus University in Rotterdam, which analysed data from 1.5 million children from the UK and a further 375,000 from the Netherlands, including around 180,000 with asthma in total.

Despite international guidance stating that antibiotic use for asthma exacerbations is generally not indicated, it was found that children with asthma are approximately 1.6 times more likely to be prescribed antibiotics compared to those without the disease.

It was also found that antibiotic prescription rates were almost two times higher in the UK overall, with amoxicillin the most commonly used antibiotic in both countries.

Overprescribing of antibiotics can be a significant problem as it accelerates the development of antibiotic-resistant superbugs, which could result in many current therapies being rendered useless.

Dr Esme Baan from the department of medical informatics at Erasmus University said: "In general, we should discourage GPs from prescribing unnecessary antibiotics or run the risk of more drug-resistant infections in the future."

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