Antibiotics found to increasingly fail

April 9, 2007

Pediatricians in the United States are increasingly finding that antibiotics are not always ideal for treating ear infections, a report says.

The Denver Post reported on the findings, which are significant to pediatricians -- children are highly susceptible to ear infections.

Antibiotics are typically prescribed right away to patients with ear infections, but doctors have reported on an increase in patients and parents who report that these medications have failed to relieve the infection.

Patricia Yoon, a pediatric ear, nose and throat specialist at The Children's Hospital in Denver told the Post that this is cause for real concern because ear infections account for about one-fourth of all antibiotics prescribed in the United States. Yoon said she thinks an increasing number of strains of resistant bacteria are emerging.

But the problem has also been seen beyond ear infections. The Post reported that the antibiotic erythromycin, which fights off skin infections, was shown to work 71 percent of the time in 1996. By 2001, the drug was reportedly effective only 46 percent of the time.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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