Doctors more prone to slip-ups later in the day

Your doctor’s day is not an easy one.

He gets tired during a work day just like we all do. While we probably didn’t need a new study to tell us that, researchers found out something else.

Doctors prescribe more unnecessary antibiotics later in the day than in the morning.

Researchers from Brigham and Women’s hospital in Boston crunched data for over 21,000 people who had conditions that didn’t require antibiotics to treat.

And they found that the numbers of patients getting an Rx for them steadily increased during the day.

Of course, a doctor would be the first one to tell you that the overprescribing of these miracle drugs is one of the big reasons they’re not working as well for us anymore. But docs are human too, and even the best of them don’t use their best judgment when tired.

The researchers said that the increase is probably due to shorter visits and doctors being more likely to “succumb” to patient requests for antibiotics.

“Most doctors know they shouldn’t prescribe antibiotics for certain respiratory conditions but, as they fatigue, they’re more prone to…give patients what they want,” said Dr. Jeffrey Linder, who was lead author of the study.

Some suggestions the researchers said might help include shorter office schedules, more breaks, and “maybe even snacks.”

They also found that something as simple as putting up a poster about the dangers of over-prescribing these drugs could drop needless prescriptions by about 20 percent.

“Doctors more likely to prescribe antibiotics later in the day” Coeli Carr, October 8, 2014, The Pharmaceutical Journal,