Clinics are ignoring guidelines on prescribing antibiotics more than half of the time‚ a new study has found. And almost one in five people who were given the medication at eight Cape Town clinics did not need it. Others were given incorrect doses or the wrong type of antibiotic‚ or were told to take the drugs for the wrong length of time. In a few cases‚ people who needed antibiotics did not get them. The study‚ led by Julia Gasson of the Western Cape Department of Health‚ was conducted in the context of global concerns about antibiotic resistance caused by over-prescription‚ and found that national guidelines were being overlooked. Some clinics performed better than others, but overall‚ proper procedures were followed only 45% of the time. "The inappropriate and irrational use of antibiotics has contributed significantly to the development of antibiotic resistance‚" the researchers report in the April edition of the South African Medical Journal. Globally‚ 700,000 people die each ...

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