GPs are told to stop prescribing antibiotics for sore throats

GPs are told to stop prescribing antibiotics for sore throats

Today, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has published guidelines that state doctors should not prescribe precious antibiotics for most people with sore throats and should instead recommend drugs like paracetamol.

The guidelines from NICE and Public Health England, which aim to limit the use of antibiotics, said doctors should only be prescribing the medicines for more severe cases that are most likely to have been caused by a bacterial infection.

This is despite recent research that suggests antibiotics are prescribed in 60% of sore throat cases, for which doctors are unable to tell if the infection is viral or bacterial.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence said most sore throats were caused by viral infections, which cannot be treated by antibiotics.

At Randox, our pioneering R&D teams have developed a revolutionary swab test for respiratory infections which indicates the cause of the infection and whether a patient needs antibiotics or not. This helps to limit the number of patients who are prescribed antibiotics unnecessarily.

The Randox test, which can rapidly detect and identify the cause of 21 respiratory infections in just 5 hours, assists the clinician in prescribing the appropriate antibiotic.

John Lamont, Lead Scientist at Randox Laboratories, said;

“Current diagnostic testing for respiratory infections takes at least 36 hours to confirm the nature of an infection, and they cannot name and categorise infections as bacterial or viral in the way our new respiratory test can.”

This test, if widely adopted, could allow medical practitioners to make the correct treatment choice on the same day as examination and before patients have already begun a precautionary course of inefficient antibiotics.  It would also have additional efficiency savings for the NHS, by eliminating the need for lengthy microbiology lab tests and unnecessarily prescribing drugs which are not needed.

This new rapid and accurate test will give clinicians confidence in their diagnosis of respiratory infections and will allow for quicker treatment if necessary, which benefits patient outcomes.

The test is also available as a Randox Health Cough, Cold & Flu offering, and can be carried out by booking an appointment with Randox Health at our clinics in Crumlin, Holywood or London, or by arranging the mobile clinic to visit you at your home or place of work.

Find out more about the Cough, Cold & Flu Respiratory test here.

Book an appointment with one of our clinics, or arrange the mobile clinic, by phoning 0800 2545 130 or by clicking here.

For further information please contact the Randox PR team by email: randoxpr@randox.com or phone 028 9442 2413

 


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