IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - Dr. Daniel Livorsi with University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics is warning physicians about giving patients too many antibiotics. A new study shows that nearly half of people undergoing common urological procedures were given antibiotics longer than they needed.
Livorsi says in the long run, that can do more harm than good. During those procedures, Livorsi says a person should take antibiotics for 24 hours, but some were told by their doctors to take them for several days
The study looked into a year and a half of urological surgeries from January 2016 to June of 2017 More than 30,000 people from the Veterans Health Administration were in the study.
One potential risk of overusing the drugs is developing antibiotic resistance when bacteria withstand the effects of the antibiotic. Infections from that linger because they're more difficult to treat.
"When the bacteria is resistant to antibiotics they can grow and cause infections even when patients are taking antibiotics,” said Livorsi. “This is a concern because as a field, there are fewer and fewer antibiotics that work."
Livorsi says they did not look into why doctors prescribed more antibiotics, but he says the next step is to talk to them about overusing and trying to change how they prescribe to patients.
He says patients going through the urological procedures should talk to their doctors about the length of their prescriptions.