The Danger With Prescriptions

Two million people a year are treated for a serious infections resistant to antibiotics.
2:02 | 10/23/13

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Transcript for The Danger With Prescriptions
up. Now and new study bringing insight into a persistent health problem in the western world. Too many of us taking way too many antibiotics every year. It creates resistance, even stronger disease. Abc's medical editor, dr. Richari richmori richard besser tells us that some of it is happening because of the words we say to our doctors. Reporter: You want them and we get them. Antibiotics, we don't need. Today's study followed thousands of patients with colds. If they were hoping or expecting to get antibiotics, they were much more likely to get them. We know that a full 50 percent of the antibiotics prescribed today are not needed. Doctors feel patients expect them. Sometimes I do feel bullied or pressured into predescribing them. Reporter: Today's study finds that patients who leave with a prescription are more satisfied. So even saying things like what can I take or I had antibiotics for this before may just get you that prescription you don't need. A big problem. Because each time you take an antibiotic, it becomes a little less effective for you. Do this over and over you end up with infections that are harder and harder to treat. Take a quiz. Do you need antibiotics for the common cold? No. Antibiotics don't work on viruss. The flu? Again a virus. A sore throat? Antibiotics only work if it's strep and that's just ten percent of the time. Tell me again what we say and do not say to the doctors. I see patients who are sick all the time. What they want to know is how they can feel better sooner. Ask your doctor how do I treat these symptoms and what should i look for that tells me this is something that might need an antibiotic. You're going to avoid a lot of unnecessary drugs. Don't go in thinking you're going to get it. That's the worst question. Now to a famous trial from

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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