Click here to print this page

Planning Retirement Online

Antiobiotics no longer the super cure

With winter just around the corner, we need to be especially vigilant against asking our doctor for antibiotics to treat some of the common winter ailments.

Most of us will have already read warnings that there is a risk antibiotics are being oversubscribed, causing them to lose effect.

But now there is new supporting evidence of this to show not only are antibiotics losing their effect, but that the rate that they are losing their effect is increasing.

A study undertaken at Cardiff University looked at around 11 million antibiotic prescriptions in the UK; assessing antibiotic treatment failure rates in four of the most common infections - upper respiratory tract infections; lower respiratory tract infections; skin and soft tissue infections and acute otitis media. This covers some of the most common infections we suffer such as sinusitis, sore throats, bronchitis and skin infections.

The study looked at the records over a 22 year time scale, between 1991 and 2012 and the results showed that antibiotic treatment failures has risen by 12%, from a failure rate of 13.9% in 1991 to a failure rate of 15.4% in 2012.

Antibiotic treatments for different conditions had varied levels of success, with bronchitis and pneumonia showing the most resistance, with an increased failure rate of 35%.

There were different failure rates between the actual antibiotics used. For instance, failure rate for commonly prescribed antibiotics such as amoxicillin and penicillin were below 20% but Trimethoprim showed a failure rate of 40%.

In the same research, it was also found that the proportions of infections being treated with antibiotics continued to rise; in the ten years between 2000 and 2012 the proportion of infections being treated with antibiotics rose from 60% to 65%.

Professor Craig Currie, from the School of Medicine at Cardiff University, said that this confirmation of the growing ineffectiveness of antibiotics is very worrying, especially as there is a lack of new antibiotics being developed.

He said: "We need to ensure that patients receive the appropriate medication for their condition and minimise any unnecessary or inappropriate treatment which could be fuelling microbial resistance to antibiotics."

Many doctors are already being very careful about prescribing antibiotics for common winter ailments but some have difficulty in explaining the problems to patients who are desperate for a quick cure of their sore throat or other condition.

Hopefully this latest research will help patients understand why doctors are becoming more reluctant to prescribe antibiotics for common winter ailments.

Back to LaterLife Interest Index


Keep in touch with everything happening in Laterlife Today!

 


Bookmark This Share on Facebook Receive more like this

 

Latest Articles:

Health food of the month: Nuts

Assorted nuts

While nuts are a traditional festive food over the Christmas period, they are so good for us they really should be a regular addition to our everyday diet right through the year.

more

AXA Health: Top 10 alternatives to brisk walking

Brisk walking is a great form of moderate aerobic exercise, but if it’s not for you, here are AXA's top 10 activities that will also give your heart a work out.

more

Medicinal cannabis is set for a new high

Cannabis plant

If you remember the 1960s you weren’t there! This is a great sentence that captures a unique era when the young were breaking boundaries...and smoking pot.

Trials are currently underway to test cannabis-based drugs for other conditions including cancer pain, glaucoma and epilepsy in children.

more

That first conversation about dementia

Elderly couple sitting at table

Having a conversation with a loved one about dementia can be difficult but John Ramsay, Chief Executive Officer of Shift8, a social enterprise organisation that is introducing a Dutch dementia care innovation into the UK, provided Laterlife with some advice.

more

Back to LaterLife Health Section

Visit our Pre-retirement Courses section here on laterlife or our dedicated Retirement Courses site

Bookmark


Advertise on laterlife.com



LaterLife Travel Insurance in Association with Avanti