Since the introduction of antibiotics in World War II, doctors have prescribed courses of treatment that typically ran longer than necessary. Bacterial resistance is forcing a reevaluation, shortening courses sometimes to just a few days and even prompting doctors to advise not using all pills if patients feel better.
Antibiotic resistance may mean some infections are untreatable in the future. To combat this bacterial evolution, new federal rules went into effect on January 1 that restrict use of antibiotics in food animals, where the majority of US antibiotics are consumed. Critics worry the rules don’t go far enough. Experts on both sides of the issue discuss.