Doctor- Do I Really Need That Antibiotic?

As part of the Choosing Wisely campaign, the Infectious Diseases Society of America has released its list of five tests and treatments that physicians and patients should question:

1. Antibiotics should not be used to treat bacteria in the urine if the patient does not have symptoms, unless she is pregnant.

2. Physicians should avoid prescribing antibiotics for upper respiratory infections since most are viral. There are specific guidelines, about when antibiotics can be used.

3. Antibiotics should be avoided for stasis dermatitis of the legs, a condition where the lower leg is red and mildly swollen due to a number of reasons. Discuss the causes with your doctor. The standard of care is leg elevation plus compression stockings.

4. In the absence of diarrhea, physicians should not test for Clostridium difficile.

5. Antibiotic prophylaxis should not be given to patients with mitral valve prolapse to prevent heart infections. The guidelines have changed, please discuss this with your doctor, before routinely taking antibiotics for dental, and other procedures.

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