Across America, dentists write about 10% of all antibiotic prescriptions, data show, making them the top specialty prescribers of antibiotics in the U.S. one recent year. But do the benefits of all these prescriptions outweigh their potential for harm? Amid concerns about antibiotic resistance – and the spread of Clostridioides difficile, a bacterium that causes […]
I’ve discussed in previous blog posts ways in which confounding by indication can completely change the way observational research is interpreted: it can flip common wisdom about labor induction and cesarean delivery risk on its head, and it can lead to bizarre conversations illustrating a researchers’ blind spots when it comes to discussing topics such […]
Potentially deadly Clostridium difficile (C. diff), which sickened an estimated half million Americans one recent year, has gained notoriety as a hospital-acquired infection. Patients who have taken antibiotics face an elevated risk of acquiring the diarrheal disease, and the majority of infections occur in health care facilities, research has shown.
Citing the dangers of drug-resistant microbes, newly appointed Food and Drug Administration chief Joshua Sharfstein testified against the over-use of antibiotics by animal feeding operations (12-page PDF). Sharfstein said drug-resistant bacteria make up 70 percent of the approximately 2 million infections caught annually in American hospitals, leading to a high cost, both financially and in […]
Andrew Schneider of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer spent five months investigating “honey laundering,” the practice of smuggling Chinese honey into the United States via intermediary countries like Vietnam and Russia to avoid heavy tariffs. The laundered honey may contain the toxic antibiotic chloramphenicol and other antibiotics or even be adulterated with corn or cane sugar. Schneider […]
A little-reported side effect of surging COVID-19 cases is the likelihood that there will be an increasing number of people exposed to antibiotic-resistant bacteria. At least 15 percent to 20 percent of people infected with SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, develop a secondary bacterial infection, requiring the use of antibiotics. As a result, most […]