Research shows 1 in 10 antibiotic prescriptions 'fail'

Research from Cardiff University has uncovered a "worrying" trend in the efficacy of antibiotics prescribed in primary care. Out of nearly 11 million antibiotics courses prescribed over a 22-year period, more than one-in-ten treatments fail.

One-in-ten antibiotic prescriptions 'fail'

Research from Cardiff University say there is a 'worrying trend' in the efficacy of antibiotics prescribed in primary care Credit: J.M. Guyon/Candybox Images/Press Association Images

More than one in ten of all antibiotic treatments given out by GPs over the last two decades have failed, and the rate is continuing to rise, that's according to Cardiff University.

Figures show overall antibiotic treatment failures rose from 13.9% in 1991 to 15.4% in 2012 - an increase of 12%.

The figures showed pneumonia and bronchitis were the most stubborn infections to treat, showing an increased failure rate of 35%.

In Europe, hospital infections caused by antibiotic resistant bacteria result in 25,000 deaths every year.

Given the lack of new antibiotics being developed, the growing ineffectiveness of antibiotics delivered through primary care is very worrying indeed.

Antibiotic resistance in primary care needs to be more closely monitored, which is actually quite difficult given that primary care clinicians seldom report treatment failures.

We need to ensure that patients receive the appropriate medication for their condition and minimise any unnecessary or inappropriate treatment which could be fuelling microbial resistance to antibiotics, prolonging illness and in some cases killing people.

– Professor Craig Currie, Cardiff University School of Medicine

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