Antibiotics Being Prescribed Less for Respiratory Infections

"It's a wonderful finding," Levy said. "The message is getting out there. There is a major thrust in the appropriate use of antibiotics -- the realization that if we reduce the use of antibiotics, we will reduce the levels of resistance."

Levy added that it also has become easier for doctors to tell patients they don't need antibiotics.

"Now patients are saying: 'If I don't need the antibiotic, why should I take it?' That is a good sign," he said.

People are getting the message that "antibiotics are not cure-alls, and a consequence of antibiotic usage and misuse is the resistance that emerges," Levy said.

More information

The Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics has more on antibiotic resistance.

SOURCES: Marie R Griffin, M.D., M.P.H., professor, preventive medicine, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tenn.; Stuart B. Levy, M.D., president, Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics, professor, medicine and molecular biology and microbiology, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston; Aug. 19, 2009, Journal of the American Medical Association

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