The NYT on the Antibiotic Flood
Many of you know that I have become concerned about the overprescribing of antibiotics for ENT issues, especially sinusitis. The reason is simple: these powerful drugs are being used unnecessarily for an increasing number of ailments that cannot benefit from their use, which is leading to stronger resistance across the population.
Now a highly regarded panel of medical specialty boards has echoed this concern by recommending that doctors cut back drastically on several unnecessary medical tests, procedures, and yes, prescriptions. As a recent article said:
The recommendations represent an unusually frank acknowledgment by physicians that many profitable tests and procedures are performed unnecessarily and may harm patients. By some estimates, unnecessary treatment constitutes one-third of medical spending in the United States.
[. . .]
The list of tests and procedures they advise against includes EKGs done routinely during a physical, even when there is no sign of heart trouble, M.R.I.’s ordered whenever a patient complains of back pain, and antibiotics prescribed for mild sinusitis – all quite common.
Hear hear. Antibiotics have their use – in fact, their singular power is what we are all trying to protect here – but they are best prescribed after a lengthy diagnostic process, and by a specialist such as an expert ENT. If you have not been to visit a physician who specializes in your area of concern, it is may be wise to seek out a more informed opinion.
Your fellow citizens with actual infections will thank you.