As antibiotic use in the U.S. has soared, a growing number of doctors have begun prescribing these drugs for serious illnesses, such as tuberculosis, even as evidence shows that these drugs have not been helpful for some serious conditions.
In fact, the National Institutes of Health recently announced that its “top priorities” for this year have been reducing antibiotic use by doctors and patients, not tackling the rise of new infections.
And a growing body of research suggests that antibiotics may not be working as well for patients with other serious illnesses.
As a result, we’re not prescribing them enough.
The numbers speak for themselves, and the U:s.
Department of Health and Human Services is also urging doctors to give antibiotics less often.
As the CDC reports, antibiotic use has soared over the past decade.
Since 2002, the number of prescriptions for these drugs in the United States has grown by more than half.
In 2014, about one-third of all U. S. prescriptions for antibiotics came from private physicians, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
And while the number is up, the rates of antibiotic use are still below those seen in the 1950s and 1960s.
The rise in antibiotic use comes amid a dramatic increase in the number and severity of infections and deaths.
Since 2003, the total number of antibiotic-associated deaths in the country has nearly doubled.
And, according a report from the U-M Center for Health Security and Technology, the rate of new cases of antibiotic resistant infections has increased dramatically over the same period.
The CDC reported that in 2014, more than 16,000 people died from antibiotic-resistant infections, an increase of nearly 70 percent.
And since 2005, more people have died from drug-resistant infection than from all other causes combined.
And the CDC reported in 2014 that a quarter of all new cases were caused by the same type of infection.
The report also highlighted that in 2016, the top cause of death for antibiotics-associated infections was pneumonia, and more than 1 in 10 new infections were caused directly by the drug.
And while most of these deaths are preventable, there is still a need to prevent antibiotic-related infections.
In the last decade, a number of studies have linked the rise in drug-associated death rates to increased antibiotic prescribing, as doctors have increasingly turned to the drug for treating the symptoms of bacterial infections, such to pneumonia and other infections that can occur without a direct connection to antibiotic use.
But the CDC report found that in 2015, antibiotic prescriptions rose by nearly 3,000 percent among doctors in the most important categories.
So how did we get here?
The CDC report notes that in the past, “many people assumed that drug-resistance and antibiotic prescriptions were associated.”
But since 2002, “research has shown that most people do not think that this is the case.”
A study published in the American Journal of Infection Control found that when asked about the rise and fall of antibiotic prescriptions, just a quarter said they expected to see this trend continue, and another quarter said that they expected the increase would be “tighter.”
A large majority said they thought that the rise was temporary, while a small minority said it would continue to grow.
And in one study published last year, doctors were also asked how likely they were to prescribe antibiotics for someone who had just been treated for pneumonia.
Only two in 10 said they would prescribe antibiotics to someone who was recently treated for a bacterial infection, while nearly half said they wouldn’t.
In a 2015 study published by the American Medical Association, the CDC noted that physicians were increasingly prescribing antibiotics for non-urgent conditions, such the common cold, even though studies have shown that these medications have little or no effect on the health of the individual.
The American Medical Society, however, did not offer an endorsement of the CDC’s recommendation to prescribe less antibiotics.
The AMA said in a statement to The American Journal that “most physicians do not see drug use as a primary contributor to antibiotic resistance” and that the “increasing use of antibiotics for nonsurgical conditions, including pneumonia, is also not associated with increased resistance.”
But other experts, including Dr. Jonathan Katz, president of the American Society for Microbiology, said in an email that it is important to note that “there is an increase in antibiotics prescriptions in the last year and there is a significant reduction in antibiotic prescribing for other chronic diseases.”
Katz pointed to a 2013 study published online in The Lancet that found that antibiotics prescribed for the common flu and the common cancer, including pancreatic cancer, were no longer prescribed for people with no previous history of drug use.
The study found that “the average number of antibiotics prescribed in the second year of follow-up was nearly half what it was in the first year, and only 3.5 percent of patients received more than one antibiotic for any one condition.
These findings highlight the importance of increasing antibiotic prescribing as a way to decrease antibiotic-resistant infections,” Katz said.
He noted that many doctors are taking