Multiple antibiotic courses risky: Study

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London: Taking numerous courses of antibiotics may cause more serious infections, leading to a higher risk of hospital admissions, according to a study.

The study, published in the journal BMC Medicine, is based on the data of two million patients in England and Wales.

Patients who have had nine or more antibiotic prescriptions for common infections in the previous three years were 2.26 times more likely to go to hospital with another infection in three or more months, according to the researchers from the University of Manchester in the UK.

The patient records, from 2000 to 2016, covered common infections such as upper respiratory tract, urinary tract, ear and chest infections, and excluded long term conditions such as cystic fibrosis and chronic lung disease.

It not clear why hospital admissions are linked to higher prescriptions, the team said, adding more research is needed to show what or if any biological factors exist.

The risks of going to hospital with another infection were related to the number of the antibiotic prescriptions in the previous three years, according to the researchers.

A course is defined by the team as being given over a period of one or two weeks.