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Antibiotic Use in Kids Going Down

June 25, 2012
Plain English Version

Experts say that doctors are using antibiotics to treat children less often.  This is good news, since about half the time, antibiotics are the wrong drug because the child has a virus. Antibiotics are for bacterial infections and their overuse may lead to resistance to the drugs. A new study shows the use of antibiotics for kids went down by 9 percent between 2002 and 2010.

While the use of prescription drugs by children and teens has gone down, the use of prescription drugs by adults went up by 22 percent.

Other trends reported in the study are that:

  • cold medicine prescriptions went down by 42 percent (in 2008 doctors said not to use these drugs in children under the age of two)
  • allergy prescriptions fell by 61 percent
  • birth control prescriptions by teens nearly doubled (some increase came from using the pills for acne)
  • attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) prescriptions rose by 43 percent (the use of newer drugs)

The study is online here.

The Los Angeles Times

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