Antibiotic Resistance and Overuse

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Story Updated: Apr 12, 2013

S. Check out the results of a new CDC study.

We've all heard about antibiotic resistance, where strains of bacteria become resistant to the drugs we use to fight them off. One major cause is overuse of antibiotics. In fact, experts now estimate that 50% of antibiotic prescriptions may be unnecessary.

As a major public health concern, researchers wanted to know where the most prescriptions are being written.

Using information from a large national database, the team tracked oral antibiotic use throughout the U.S. in 2010.

Overall, a whopping 258 million antibiotic prescriptions were written that year. That's an average of 8-hundred-33 prescriptions per 1000 Americans.

Rates were highest in the Southeast...with 936 prescriptions written per 1000 people. The states prescribing the fewest antibiotics (on average, 639 prescriptions per 1000 people) were out West.

The most frequently prescribed antibiotic was azithromycin...known to most as a "Z pack."

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with news you can use for healthier living.

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