Positive trend: doctors prescribe fewer antibiotics for children

Less antibiotic prescriptions for children

In recent years there has been repeated criticism that doctors prescribe antibiotics too often, in many cases unnecessarily and often only on suspicion. Now there is a positive message: According to a current evaluation, antibiotic prescriptions have decreased - at least for children.

Antibiotics for children only in an emergency

Although experts have repeatedly warned that antibiotics can have health consequences in childhood, and children should only receive such preparations in an emergency, the drugs have been prescribed far too often in the past even for the youngest. However, such funds are now increasingly critically evaluated by parents. And apparently, more doctors are now more reluctant to prescribe.

The number of prescriptions is declining

As an analysis of the insurance data of the KKH Kaufmännchenes Krankenkasse showed, doctors prescribe less and less antibiotics to children.

In 2016, 425 antibiotic prescriptions were issued nationwide per 1,000 children and adolescents up to the age of 17 - 33 percent fewer than in 2008.

In the under one year old, the KKH even recorded a decline of 51 percent: in 2016, medical doctors only issued 95 antibiotic prescriptions per 1,000 infants.

Bad consequences for health

"It is very positive that antibiotics are being used with increasing care in children," said Sven Seißelberg, pharmacist at the KKH. "Because especially with infants, a frequent intake can have bad consequences for health."

Above all, this includes an increased risk of inflammatory bowel diseases as well as asthma and obesity.

According to researchers, babies who are given an antibiotic while breastfeeding are more likely to be infected and, as a result, are more dependent on other antibiotics.

Experts cite the harmful effects of the drugs on the intestinal flora as a reason: they not only reduce the number of intestinal bacteria, but also ensure less diversity.

Even if breastfeeding mothers are given an antibiotic, this can harm the baby because it absorbs the ingredients in breast milk. "If antibiotics are necessary, they should be used as specifically as possible and no broad-spectrum medication should be prescribed," said Seißelberg. (ad)

Author and source information

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