Antibiotics still overprescribed, especially in the South, especially for sinusitis

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Antibiotic use is highest in the South. Not coincidentally, we also have the highest rates of antibiotic resistance. I wrote a blog post about this four years ago. Apparently things haven’t changed that much. Patients expect doctors to do something for them and doctors are afraid to make patients angry. If we both don’t start changing our behavior, bad things are going to happen.

An astonishing 20% of antibiotic prescriptions are written to treat sinusitis, and they probably don’t even work. As an allergist, I can tell you, dear reader, that much of what is diagnosed as sinusitis is actually allergies. If more people had their allergies properly diagnosed and managed, then the rate of unnecessary antibiotic prescribing would plummet. As a specialty, allergists and our governing bodies need to do a better job educating the public on this issue.

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