According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (June 19, 2002;287:3096-3102, 3103-3109, 3133-3135), fewer doctors are prescribing antibiotics to children and teens than in 1990. This is an attempt to halt the rise in antibiotic resistant infections. Over use of antibiotics in the past has created antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria.
Doctors gave only 30 million prescriptions for antibiotics between 1999 and 2000 to children under the age of 15. Between 1989 and 1990 the same age group was given 45 million antibiotic prescriptions. This is according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. The number of office visits was the same for the two periods of time.
The authors of the JAMA article believe that the reduction in the number of antibiotic prescriptions was due to awareness that giving unnecessary antibiotics helps to create bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. The article’s findings were formed from surveys conducted with over 2,500 physicians. The surveys were conducted from 1989 to 1990, and then later from 1999 to 2000. The physicians reported on their use of antibiotics in as many as 13,600 office visits with patients under the age of 15.