In a study published this month in the Annals of Internal Medicine, the ACP and CDC urge physicians and health-care practitioners to stop prescribing antibiotics for the common cold.
Clinicians most commonly write antibiotic prescriptions for acute respiratory tract infections (ARTIs), according to the recent study. These ARTIs include common colds, bronchitis without pneumonia, sore throats, and sinus infections. However, the ACP and CDC suggest that antibiotic use for ARTIs is inappropriate, and may be a factor in the prevalence of antibiotic resistant infections, or "superbugs."
It is estimated that more than two million Americans fall ill to antibiotic resistant infections every year, with roughly 23,000 of those cases resulting in death, according to the CDC.
The prescribed use of antibiotics may be spiraling out of control. One in five emergency room visits are due to adverse effects caused by antibiotics, according to the CDC. Antibiotics are also the leading cause for emergency room visits for adverse drug events in children under the age of 18.