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Study evaluates use of antibiotics to treat asthma in kids


Narrator:       This is Science Today. Currently the National Institutes of Health do not recommend antibiotics as a treatment for asthma exacerbation in children. But a new study from the University of California, San Francisco, reveals that despite this guideline, a significant portion of doctors are overprescribing antibiotics to their asthmatic patients.

Cabana:         Anecdotally we heard that pediatricians are using antibiotics to help bring down inflammation. But before we try anything out with kids we want to make sure we have good evidence before promoting that specific recommendation.

Narrator:       Researcher Michael Cabana is starting a clinical trial to determine whether antibiotics called macrolides could be an effective therapy to treat asthma exacerbation in kids.

Cabana:         I think this is a great example of how as a profession we have to constantly evaluate what we're doing. So if macrolides work and it's a way to stop exacerbations we need to study that in a rigorous manner to make sure it makes a difference before making that recommendation.

Narrator:       For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.