Antibiotics 'Fail 15%' Of Patients Due To Superbugs And ‘Reckless’ Prescription [United Kingdom]

Staff Writer | RT | September 26, 2014

One in seven patients can no longer be helped by antibiotics because they are increasingly ineffective after being handed out too freely by GPs. Experts warn that common infections could become potentially life-threatening for Britons.  Researchers at the University of Cardiff say that GPs often prescribe antibiotics too readily, sometimes for viruses such as coughs and colds, for which antibiotics are ineffective, resulting in bacteria evolving into “superbugs” that are resistant to treatments that used to kill them.

An analysis of medical records showed that almost 11 million patients were prescribed antibiotics between 1991 and 2012 for sinusitis, sore throats, skin infections, bronchitis and pneumonia. Figures show overall antibiotic treatment failures increased from 13.9 percent in 1991 to 15.4 percent in 2012 – a rise of 12 percent.  Scientists said the findings were “bleak,” with one in six courses of antibiotics failing in 2012 – while for some drugs this was more than half.

The figures showed that potentially life-threatening pneumonia and bronchitis were the most resilient infections to treat, showing an increased antibiotics failure rate of 35 percent.  One antibiotic, trimethoprim, used to treat, for example, tonsilitis, failed up to 70 percent of the time when used to treat bronchitis or pneumonia. Another drug, the commonly prescribed amoxicillin, failed 18 percent of the time...