Common Antibiotic Doesn’t Help Coughs, Bronchitis

It’s the eighth most commonly prescribed drug in the U.S., with 52.3 million prescriptions written for it every year — many in winter for hacking coughs and suspected respiratory infections. But amoxicillin, and its inexpensive generic equivalents, has been so overprescribed for bronchitis, it’s apparently no longer effective, a new study finds. The study, published online this week in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, found amoxicillin (part of the penicillin family) no more helpful than a placebo in treating lower-respiratory-tract-infection symptoms — …