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Southeast U.S. Still Using High Levels of Antibiotics, Study Shows

Southeast U.S. Still Using High Levels of Antibiotics, Study Shows

11/16/11

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Overall outpatient use of antibiotics in the United States fell about 12 percent between 1999 and 2007, but alarmingly high use in the Southeast could speed the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, researchers warn.

The findings were released by Extending the Cure, a project of the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy in Washington, D.C.

The five states with the highest antibiotic use are West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Louisiana and Alabama. Residents of West Virginia and Kentucky take about twice as many antibiotics per capita as those living in Oregon and Alaska.

Penicillins are the most popular antibiotics and account for nearly one out of every three prescriptions filled in the United States. But the market share of penicillins has fallen 28 percent as doctors increasingly turn to more powerful antibiotics, according to a news release from Extending the Cure.

Between 1999 and 2007, prescribing rates for a powerful class of antibiotics called fluoroquinolones rose 49 percent. But with increasing antibiotic resistance, these drugs are now seven times less likely to work against E. coli than they were in 1999.

The release of the findings coincides with this week's U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's annual campaign to reduce antibiotic overuse.

More information

Here's where you can find information on the CDC's Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work campaign.

Copyright © 2011 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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