Overuse of antibiotics for an asthma exacerbation


Overuse of antibiotics has been a frequently encountered problem. Antibiotics do not really alter the course of asthma exacerbation!

Very often physicians prescribe antibiotics when an asthmatic gets
an attack. Frequently patients expect to receive an antibiotics for their “bronchitis”. Physician’s insecurity as well as patient’s expectations are the reason for the high number of antibiotics being prescribed. There is an organized effort from medical community of the whole world to pay attention to the high number of resistant organism developing due to overuse of antibiotics.

Recent published data shows that even in those cases where the presence of a
bacterial infection was proven, the administration of an antibiotic did not make
a difference in asthma exacerbations, quality of life or lung functions between
those treated with or without antibiotics.

In majority of cases the exacerbations are due respiratory viral infections such as rhinovirus infection. Rarely these infections are due to an organism called mycoplasma. The current data shows that even in these cases antibiotics really did not make much of a difference. Based on these findings physicians are advised not to use antibiotics for patients with routine  exacerbations. Physicians need to refrain from overuse of antibiotics in patients with asthma exacerbations.

For more information, visit: American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology


Published by


Board-certified in Pediatrics and Allergy for adults and children, in practice for 38 years, received two master's degrees, in business and psychology, winner of many awards including Louisiana Citizen of the Year, Humanitarian of the Year, and Corner-Stone Award from the United Way, and Past President of Louisiana Allergy Society, Dr. Manuel lives in Louisiana.