Flu and Antibiotic Overprescription

October 2009

Research Area: Antibiotic Resistance | Region: North America
Type: Brief
The Question

Each year, there is a spike in antibiotic prescribing during flu season, even when patients do not have bacterial infections.  How can unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions be reduced and antibiotic resistance be controlled?

What We Found

By boosting rates of flu vaccinations and educating the public about the dangers of inappropriate antibiotic use, the U.S. could reduce the amount of unnecessary prescriptions during flu season.

Why It Matters

Overprescribing antibiotics leads to increased resistance.  Curbing unnecessary use of antibiotics during flu season will help preserve these life-saving drugs.