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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Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, a nonprofit independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association, is part of a family of companies that finances and delivers vital health care services to 1.8 million people across upstate New York. Excellus BlueCross BlueShield provides access to high-quality, affordable health coverage, including valuable health-related resources that our members use every day, such as cost-saving prescription drug discounts and wellness tracking tools in our Step Up program. To learn more, visit www.excellusbcbs.com