The practice of prescribing antibiotics for common conditions has, once again, been called into question by two new studies.
The first, from Southampton University, concludes that prescribing antibiotics immediately for a sore throat is no better than delaying prescription for a few days if symptoms persist, or not giving a prescription at all (BMJ, 1997, 314: 722-7).
The study found that the proportion of patients who felt better by day three was similar, regardless of whether antibiotics were given.
The second found no benefits in prescribing antibiotics for acute maxillary sinusitis (Lancet, 1997; 349: 683-7). The study found that symptoms headaches, facial pain, nasal obstruction and nasal discharge were unchanged by antibiotic treatment.
For more information on antibiotics see WDDTY vol 8 no 1.