Concerns about antibiotic-resistant germs are prompting many doctors to prescribe newer, more costly and more powerful drugs to treat urinary tract infections, one of the most common illnesses in women.
But new research out of Oregon State University suggests that the more powerful antibiotics are used more frequently than necessary, and recommend that doctors only use the stronger drugs if necessary.
The OSU researchers found UTIs accounted for about 2 percent of all doctor's office visits by adult women between 1998 and 2009, and antibiotics were prescribed 71 percent of the time. Editor’s Note: Editor’s Note: 3 Secrets to Never Get Sick Again. Get Super Immunity for Only $4.95. Click here.
The problem is that overuse of powerful drugs, especially quinolone antibiotics, promotes bacterial resistance and renders them untreatable, as in the case of life-threatening infections from MRSA bacteria (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus). Since older, inexpensive drugs can work against UTIs, they should be considered before the more powerful ones, researchers said.
"Many people have heard about the issues with MRSA and antibiotic resistance, but they don't realize that some of our much more common and frequent infections raise the same concerns," said Jessina McGregor, an OSU drug resistance expert.
"This problem is getting worse, and it's important that we not use the new and stronger drugs unless they are really needed. That's in everyone's best interests, both the patient and the community. So people should talk with their doctor about risks and benefits of different treatment options to find the antibiotic best suited for them, even if it is one of the older drugs."Editor’s Note: Editor’s Note: 3 Secrets to Never Get Sick Again. Get Super Immunity for Only $4.95. Click here.
McGregor recently presented research showing that prescriptions for quinolones rose 10 percent in recent years, while other drugs that are equally effective in treating UTIs was unchanged.
"Because of higher levels of antibiotic resistance to older drugs in some regions, some doctors are now starting with what should be their second choice of antibiotic, not the first," McGregor said. "We need to conserve the effectiveness of all these anti-infective medications as best we can."