Fewer antibiotics in case of a cold Trend continues

Flu infections are usually triggered by viruses, antibiotics are therefore ineffective. Nevertheless, they are prescribed, but in recent years increasingly rare. This trend is evidently continuing. This informs the Techniker Krankenkasse today on Friday, referring to figures from their current health report.

The vast majority of common cold infections with symptoms such as runny nose or cough are caused by viruses. Antibiotics are known to only help against bacterial infections. Their misuse may result in multidrug-resistant germs. Apparently, however, the doctors are slowly starting to think differently. In 2018, according to the current health report of the Techniker Krankenkasse (TK), about every fifth patient who had been on sick leave for a cold was prescribed an antibiotic by his doctor (22 percent). Ten years ago, it was still about 38 percent, more than one in three of the sick leave insured. This continues the trend that fewer and fewer antibiotics are prescribed for colds, the TK. If employees were only sick for a short time - between one and three days - due to cold symptoms, they would only receive antibiotics in 2018 in 16 percent of cases. In 2008 it was still 30.5 percent - almost twice as much.

Data from the Supply Atlas study by the Central Institute for Panel Medical Care (ZI), presented recently, point in the same direction . Accordingly, at the expense of the SHI, 562 antibiotic prescriptions per 1,000 insured were issued in 2010, compared to only 446 in 2018, which represents a decrease of 21 percent. The decline, which affects all age groups, is especially strong in children. According to the study, the number of prescriptions has almost halved in newborns and infants (0 to one year): from a relatively high 630 prescriptions per 1,000 insured in 2010 to 320 prescriptions in 2018 (-49 percent).

"Development is going in the right direction",
"Development is going in the right direction," says Dr. Jens Baas, Chairman of the Board of TK. "It is important that antibiotics are prescribed only when they are really necessary and the medication also helps against the disease. Especially against the background that fewer and fewer new antibiotics come on the market and at the same time more multi-resistant germs arise, it is very important to use them responsibly. Otherwise, there is an increased risk that antibiotics will no longer work.