Despite ’superbugs,’ hospital antibiotic use is on the rise

Hospital use of antibiotics is increasingResearchers have discovered that even with the fear of bacterial resistance, use of antibiotics in hospitals continues to rise.

A study in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine found that the use of antibiotics rose 7 percent at 22 U.S. hospitals studied from 2002 to 2006.

Using antibacterial drugs increases the risk that pathogens can become resistant to the drugs, which can make them useless.

Although the use of most antibiotics was stable over the 5 years of the study, Zosyn use rose 84 percent and the use of vancomycin rose 43 percent.

The authors of the study recommend that hospitals use antibiotics only when necessary, create stewardship programs to more effectively use the drugs and use infectious control efforts to curb antibiotic use.

The overuse of antibiotics has given rise to what many call “superbugs” – a bacterium having multiple resistance genes – such as MRSA, C. diff and staph infection.

The Association for Professionals in Infectious Control and Epidemiology reported on Monday that 13 in every 1,000 U.S. hospitalized patients had contracted Clostridium difficile (C. diff). In recent years, a strain of C. diff has developed that is resistant to antibiotics.