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Consumer Reports Medical Guide - Best Treatments - When the best medicine is no medicine

Posted Nov 18 2008 12:17am

Consumer Reports Medical Guide - Best Treatments: "Treatment options - When the best medicine is no medicine". " Physicians may also recommend treatments they know are unlikely to help simply because they find it easier and less time-consuming than explaining to patients why no treatment makes sense. For instance, doctors frequently prescribe antibiotics for viral infections, such as colds and the flu, even though all doctors know only bacterial infections respond to antibiotics.

"Describing why antibiotics or other treatments are sometimes unnecessary may be time-consuming, but it's the right thing to do," says Nash. "And most patients, given clear information, would rather do what's best, especially if it means avoiding uncomfortable or potentially dangerous interventions."

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