“Just-in-case” drugs are encouraging antimicrobial resistance

June 15, 2018

Travelers carrying standby antibiotics take them more often than those traveling without such drugs, says a recent study carried out jointly by the University of Helsinki, the Helsinki University Hospital, and the Aava Travel Clinic.

Increasing antimicrobial resistance, primarily caused by excessive and uncontrolled use of antibiotics, is a globally recognized severe threat to human health. Antibiotic shortages also contribute to antibiotic resistance, causing physicians to substitute broad-spectrum antibiotics.

According to this study, travelers carrying standby antibiotics tend to use them unnecessarily and against recommendations.

The study found that approximately every third traveler to the tropics returned home with intestinal multi-resistant bacteria -- and the risk of having contracted such bacteria is doubled by taking antibiotics during the journey.

Read the Science Daily writeup