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Doctors told not to overuse antibiotics

Doctors Told to Stop Giving Antibiotics for Colds
Right-click here to download pictures. To help protect your privacy, Outlook prevented automatic download of this picture from the Internet.Doctors in Britain will soon be told to stop prescribing antibiotics for coughs, colds and sore throats. Overuse of the drugs is fuelling the spread of deadly antibiotic-resistant super bugs. A new government program aims to diminish the use of the drugs.

Most colds, coughs and flu are caused by viruses, which cannot be treated with antibiotics since antibiotics only work on bacteria.

Overuse of antibiotics has been blamed for the rise of drug-resistant tuberculosis. If antibiotic use is not curbed, doctors could run out of effective treatment for some diseases.

Sources:

The Telegraph January 9, 2008

48 Percent of Doctors Admit to Prescribing Placebos Just to Shut You Up

Right-click here to download pictures. To help protect your privacy, Outlook prevented automatic download of this picture from the Internet.The next time your doctor prescribes you a medication, you have about a 50-50 chance that it’s a placebo, according to a new study by University of Chicago researchers.

Their survey of 466 faculty physicians at Chicago-area medical schools found that 45 percent said they had prescribed placebos in regular clinical practice, with just over half having prescribed them in the previous year.

The most common reasons why doctors prescribed placebos were to:

Calm a patient down
Respond to demands for medication the doctor thought were unnecessary
Do something after all other treatment options had failedAlmost all of the doctors — 96 percent — believed that the placebos could have a real therapeutic effect.

A separate study by the University of Michigan, for instance, found that patients given placebos, but told they were receiving painkillers, had increased production of endorphins — your brain’s natural pain relievers. Sources:

Time January 3, 2008
The Consumerist January 9, 2008
Journal of General Internal Medicine January 2008, Volume 23, Number 1

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