The British Medical Journal has found that antibiotics should be used sparingly in order to be most effective and lower the risk of developing a resistance to them.
Professor Guy Richards takes it one step further and claims that in most cases antibiotics should not have been prescribed at all.
90% of antibiotic prescribed in the community should not have been. They are all viral infections and are not actually going to make you better at all.— Professor Guy Richards
Richards recommends that one would really only need antibiotics for pneumonia and some cases of sinusitis. He also recommends that if you are on prescribed antibiotics, you should take it until you recover.
He adds that duration is probably the most important factor that causes resistance in the community.
You take them until you are better, you take them for 24 hours more and then you stop.— Professor Guy Richards
The British Medical Journal also found that the widely believed idea of stopping antibiotics early encourages antibiotic resistance, is not supported by evidence. It also found that taking antibiotics for prolonged periods of time could actually increases the risk of resistance.
Richards says that this is nothing new. According to him doctors have been reducing the duration of antibiotic treatment when it is necessary.
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