US physicians continue to overprescribe antibiotics: 4 things to know

Physicians throughout the United States continue to prescribe antibiotics when they may not be necessary, according to a study published in Annals of Internal Medicine, CBS News reports.

Here are four things to know:

1. Of the physicians surveyed, 27 percent reported providers often administer antibiotics to patients even if the drugs will not amend the condition.

2. In the majority of cases, providers prescribe antibiotics to treat upper respiratory infections, despite medication lacking the ability to treat viruses.

3. Physicians also use other treatments that have questionable value including aggressive treatments for terminally ill patients, chronic pain medication and dietary supplements.

4. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria infect at least 2 million Americans annually and at least 23,000 Americans die from these infections every year.

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