Letters

Resistance to antibiotics

BMJ 1998; 317 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.317.7171.1521b (Published 28 November 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;317:1521

This article has a correction. Please see:

Prescribing of antibiotics needs to be rational

  1. Philip Pearson, Senior house officer,
  2. Paul McWhinney, Locum consultant physician,
  3. Philip Stanley ([email protected]), Consultant physician
  1. Regional Department of Adult and Paediatric Infectious Diseases, Seacroft Hospital, Leeds LS14 6UH
  2. Department of General Practice, University of Oslo, N-0317 Oslo, Norway
  3. 5 Spicer Street, St Albans, Hertfordshire AL3 4PH

    EDITOR—We agree with Hart that undergraduate and postgraduate medical education in the use of antimicrobials needs to be increased.1 Abbasi's news article2 is opposite a full page advertisement for an antibiotic. This advertisement seems to promote the use of a new fluoroquinolone to treat respiratory infections “even [due to] Streptococcus pneumoniae“ in the community. Most strains of S pneumoniae remain sensitive to penicillin, and there is little evidence that quinolones are needed to treat acute sinusitis or acute exacerbations of chronic bronchitis.

    The only other advertisement for an antibiotic in that edition of the BMJoccurs in the middle of a meta-analysis of antibiotic prophylaxis in critically ill people.3 The presence of these advertisements emphasises the likely difficulty in changing patterns of antibiotic prescribing.

    References

    Restricted prescribing resulted in reduction of resistant strains

    1. Morten Lindbaek ([email protected]), Associate professor,
    2. Per Hjortdahl, Professor
    1. Regional Department of Adult and Paediatric Infectious Diseases, Seacroft Hospital, Leeds LS14 6UH
    2. Department of General Practice, University of Oslo, N-0317 Oslo, Norway
    3. 5 Spicer Street, St Albans, Hertfordshire AL3 4PH

      EDITOR—Abbasi's news article1 and Hart's editorial2 about resistance to antibiotics raise interesting questions. Most antibiotics are prescribed in general practice, and how general practitioners deal with the problem of resistance is crucial. Resistance is closely related to the total amount of …

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