Antibiotics show no effect in case of simple bronchitis. Nevertheless, they are still commonly prescribed. One of consequence from antibiotic intake is increasing of antibiotic resistance.
At least every second patient in US, which goes with a problem of bronchitis to the doctor receive from him a prescription for an antibiotic. Especially if the sputum is discolored, believe many medical professionals, this is a sure sign of a bacterial infection – and resort to heavy medication.
But the color of sputum alone is not evidence of infection with pathogenic bacteria and thus no the need for an antibiotic. These are the findings of a recent study, in which the effect of an anti-inflammatory and antibiotic therapy were examined in case of uncomplicated acute bronchitis.
Bronchitis takes an average of two weeks – even with medication.
The main symptom of over 400 study participants was a persistent cough with colored sputum. In addition, the subjects had at least one other symptom such as shortness of breath or chest pain. As therapy, over a period of ten days patients were given either ibuprofen, an antibiotic or a placebo preparation.
It was found that on average the disease took two weeks – regardless of whether and which drug has taken the patient. Thus, the study supports the opinion of many experts who advise against a too careless use of antibiotics for a long time. Above all, the ever-increasing antibiotic resistance due to the frequent prescriptions represent a growing public health problem.