FAMILY doctors are fuelling the rise of superbugs by giving patients pills for longer than necessary, a study suggests.
Guidelines advise how many days antibiotics should be prescribed for bacterial infections.
But researchers found Public Health England advice was often ignored.
They warn excessive antibiotic use increases the risk of antimicrobial resistance, or superbugs.
Scientists analysed 931,015 GP consultations in England for 13 short-term conditions between 2013 and 2015.
They found treatment courses went 1.3million days beyond recommended durations.
Some 80 per cent of respiratory treatments exceeded guidelines.
Prof Helen Stokes-Lampard, of the Royal College of GPs, said a “unique combination of factors” were always considered when prescribing.
CUTTING antibiotics in the war on superbugs is killing OAPs with urinary tract infections.
Those denied them are up to eight times more likely to develop sepsis and twice as likely to die, research found.
Imperial College London’s Dr Myriam Gharbi said GPs should give over-65s pills without delay.