Author(s): Bertino JS
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Abstract Viral respiratory infections (VRIs) are a common malady associated with considerable costs in terms of decreased productivity and time lost from work or school, visits to health-care providers, and the amount of drugs prescribed. Both total respiratory illness and rhinovirus infection peak during the fall and spring seasons, although the average percentage of office visits by patients with a rhinovirus infection is moderately high throughout the year. Most common cold remedies are relatively ineffective and may produce side effects that contribute to increased health-care costs. Antibiotic therapy is widely overused and misused despite evidence that antibiotics fail to treat the cause of VRI or prevent secondary bacterial infections. Increasing use of antibiotics has a significant impact on health-care costs and the emergence of antimicrobial resistance. Reasons for overprescribing antibiotics are varied, but they often involve physician and patient attitudes and expectations. Although treatment of VRIs poses challenges for effective formulary management, several steps can be taken to facilitate the introduction of antiviral agents, including patient and provider education, the development of rapid diagnostic tests, and medical-economics studies to determine the true cost of antiviral therapy.
This article was published in Am J Med
and referenced in Alternative & Integrative Medicine