Patients and Clinicians Underestimate Antibiotic Side Effects

Patients and Clinicians Underestimate Antibiotic Side Effects

Patients and clinicians tend to downplay the side effects of antibiotics, according to a new study.

Researchers surveyed 149 clinicians, 225 emergency department patients and 519 online subjects to figure out whether healthcare providers share patients’ rationales for antibiotic use.

The results, published in the journal Medical Decision Making, found that patients were more likely to expect their healthcare provider to write a prescription for an antibiotic for their ailment rather than remain sick. As a result, this influenced clinicians to prescribe more antibiotics even though they had more knowledge about the potential side effects of the drugs.

The findings indicated that patients and clinicians are driven by the idea of “why not take a risk” (“WNTAR”), which is a belief that antibiotic use associated with a “WNTAR” mindset can lead to adverse reactions, such as antibiotic resistance and serious adverse events.

“The problem is that patients, but more surprisingly clinicians, are not fully recognizing the potential harms from antibiotic use,” Eili Klein, PhD, of the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy, in Washington, said in a statement.

“Despite the fact that approximately 20% of patients can get some sort of side effect, this does not seem to be as important a factor in decision-making as one would expect,” he added.


Alanna McCatty

Alanna McCatty

Alanna McCatty is founder and CEO of McCatty Scholars, an organization that devises and implements financial literacy programs for students to combat the nationwide issue of the loss of educational opportunity due to the ramifications of burdensome student debt. At MedShadow, she reports on new findings and research on the side effects of prescription drugs. She is a graduate of Pace University.


Did you find this article helpful?


Latest News

Synthetic Red Blood Cells, NOAC’s for Atrial Fibrillation, Surgery to Ease Sciatica Pain

Synthetic Red Blood Cells, NOAC’s for Atrial Fibrillation, Surgery to Ease Sciatica Pain

Researchers have managed to create artificial red blood cells that can transport medication. Compared to the popular anticoagulant Warfarin, NOAC’s may be superior for treating atrial fibrillation patients with prior intracranial hemorrhage. Also, surgery may be the preferred choice for reducing leg pain in patients with sciatica.  Synthetic Red Blood…

FDA Recalls Metformin and NP Thyroid

FDA Recalls Metformin and NP Thyroid

The FDA has issued a recall of two drugs–NP Thyroid and Metformin–after testing revealed that they weren’t up to code. Read more below, and if you’re taking either medication, please be sure to contact your doctor for how to continue treatment responsibly.  NP Thyroid Recalled Thirteen lots of NP Thyroid,…

  • Advertisement