Kids Too Often Prescribed Antibiotics for Sore Throat

Armen Hareyan's picture

Sore Throat and Antibiotic Treatment

Each year, millions of children visit their family physician or pediatrician seeking treatment for sore throats. While a sore throat could indicate many common illnesses, physicians are often most concerned about bacterial infections that warrant antibiotic treatments. The most common cause of sore throat for which antibiotics are indicated is group A streptococcal pharyngitis, or "strep throat." Many leading health organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics indicate that a common streptococcal or "strep" test be performed prior to prescribing recommended antibiotics.

For years, physicians have been concerned about the over-prescription of antibiotics and now, researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) and Children's Hospital Boston have found that despite clear guidelines, physicians prescribed antibiotics in 53 percent of cases. This represents significantly more prescriptions than what is expected for actual rates


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