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RCGP highlights dangers of antibiotics for children when not absolutely necessary

August 13, 2019 / Anna Smith

A new study published in the British Journal of General Practice has reported that childhood antibiotic exposure has important clinically relevant implications, including disruption to the microbiome, antibiotic resistance, and clinical workload manifesting as treatment failure. The cohort study, which used UK primary care data from the Clinical Practice Research Datalink, 2009 to 2016, found that out of 114 329 children who were prescribed an antibiotic course for acute RTI, children who received less than 2 antibiotic courses for acute RTIs in the preceding year had greater odds of response failure, and that many antibiotic courses that do not benefit children are being prescribed for self-limiting acute respiratory tract infections (RTIs) in the community. The data also revealed that at least 30% of antibiotics prescribed in outpatient settings in the US, and between 9% and 23% in UK primary care are unnecessary. Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, chair of the Royal College of GPs resp...