June 20, 2012- The effort by public health experts and doctor to control the use of antibiotics where children are involved appears to be successful. A recent study shows that pediatric prescriptions have fallen by 14% for antibiotics from 2002 to 2010.
Close to 50% of all the antibiotics taken in the U.S. are taken incorrectly – to treat infections caused by viruses instead of those caused by bacteria. If taken for a virus, the medication cannot help the patient, but they will help bacteria build a resistance against the antibiotic.
Two large companies track sales of retail pharmacies and an analysis of the data taken from the sales shows that the decline in the use of antibiotics helped to lower the overall use of prescription medicine among children and teenagers.
In 2010 a total of 263 million prescriptions for pediatric medication were filled, which is a 7% reduction from 2002. In comparison, prescription medications for adults during that same period were up over 22%. When taking into account the population change, total prescriptions for children dropped by 9% during the same period.
The most prescribed medication for pediatrics was amoxicillin. Close to 18.3 million children received a minimum of one prescription of the drug during 2010. Azithromycin was the second leading antibiotic to be prescribed for children in 2010, with close to 10.2 million prescriptions filled.