Physicians need to be prepared to talk antibiotics

Physicians need to be prepared to talk antibiotics

(HealthDay)—Patient pressure to receive antibiotic prescriptions remains a challenge for providers who are trying to combat antibiotic resistance by curbing prescriptions for viral infections, according to an article published Jan. 8 in Medical Economics.

The author of the article, Beth Thomas Hertz, notes that the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Infectious Diseases recently issued a policy statement, "Principles of Judicious Antibiotic Prescribing for Upper Respiratory Tract Infections in Pediatrics," which provides a framework for clinical decision-making regarding antibiotic use. She says that the report stresses the importance of using defined clinical criteria for diagnosing acute otitis media, acute bacterial sinusitis, and pharyngitis caused by group A Streptococcus, and cautions against the use of antibiotics for indications such as .

Hertz further notes that experts say conversations with patients or their parents regarding not prescribing antibiotics do not have to be contentious. When communicating, be specific about the dangers of and try to confirm specific virus diagnoses in-office. Additionally, experts say, a firm diagnosis of bacterial infection, such as strep, makes the decision about the appropriate use of antibiotics clear.

"Make them feel heard and cared about," suggests Molly Cooke, M.D., president of the American College of Physicians, according to the Medical Economics article. "Replace what they thought they were going to get with other suggestions."

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