HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -- New research suggests doctors are overprescribing antibiotics.
According to research published in JAMA Internal Medicine, a medical journal, many people want antibiotics for sore throats and some types of bronchitis.
Both of those are viral infections, so an antibiotic wouldn't help.
Dr. Greg Jesteadt with Harrisonburg Family Practice said some people just want a pill to cure whatever they have.
He said over-prescribing antibiotics is one way a lot of resistant bacteria develop in people.
If you have a resistant strain, doctors can't treat it with normal antibiotics and there can be side effects.
"It can create a situation where you've got diarrhea, where you're getting reactions to the medications, rashes, mixing in with other medicines as well," said Jesteadt.
Doctors are trained to know when to prescribe antibiotics.
If it's a viral illness, like bronchitis, he said there's no reason to give antibiotics for that immediately.
If a cough lasts for a few weeks, some doctors do say to prescribe antibiotics to treat the cough.
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