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Flu and cold time: Many young adults expect antibiotics from a doctor


Uncritical use: Many young adults often take antibiotics

Only recently has the positive trend been reported that doctors prescribe fewer antibiotics for children. But young adults seem to be increasingly using such drugs. According to experts, the uncritical use of antibiotics is particularly evident during the flu and cold period.

Responsible use of antibiotics

Although the number of antibiotic resistances continues to rise and is regularly called not to use such drugs in large numbers, according to a study, doctors in Germany often prescribe antibiotics only on suspicion. In addition, such agents are also used against diseases against which they are completely ineffective. As a recent survey shows, many patients apparently expect doctors to prescribe antibiotics if their cold symptoms last longer. The uncritical use of such drugs is therefore particularly common among young adults.

Antibiotics are usually not necessary if you have a cold

Almost one in two young adults received antibiotics from a doctor last year. Many of these regulations were questionable: one in five had a cold, which usually does not require an antibiotic.

This is the result of a current survey by DAK-Gesundheit, for which the Forsa Institute surveyed over 3,000 people in Germany.

The uncritical use of antibiotics becomes particularly clear during the flu and cold period: 72 percent of respondents expect a prescription if their cold symptoms do not get better on their own (2014: 76 percent).

Risk of developing resistance

Young adults, in particular, rely on such active ingredients, and only 67 percent of people aged 60 and over.

"This expectation is problematic, especially if it affects the prescription behavior of doctors," said Andreas Storm, CEO of DAK-Gesundheit.

“Antibiotics are life-saving drugs that we urgently need. If they are taken uncritically, the risk of developing resistance increases. That is why we need a change in awareness in Germany. "

Frequent gaps in knowledge

According to the health insurance company, many Germans are not sufficiently informed about the areas of application of the active ingredients: 31 percent of those surveyed think antibiotics would work for viral infections (2014: 38 percent), 19 percent hope for help with fungal infections (2014: 23 percent).

The drugs are only used to treat bacterial infections - for colds or bronchitis, for example, they are unnecessary in most cases.

The tendency to want to get fit again with antibiotics for the job is reversing: in 2014, one in four (25 percent) wanted a prescription to get back on their feet quickly, in 2017 only every sixth (16 percent).

Younger people are more affected

Age plays a role when dealing with antibiotics: The group of those who expect an antibiotic prescription for persistent symptoms is particularly large among young people (78 percent).

The over 60s are rather reserved.

Last year only about one in three (35 percent) were prescribed antibiotics, and just under one in two (48 percent) of the younger ones. (ad)

Author and source information


Video: Antibiotics why most people dont need them (August 2020).