By AP Medical Writer
updated 9/1/2011 2:30:24 PM ET 2011-09-01T18:30:24

Health officials say a push to get pediatricians to stop prescribing antibiotics for the wrong illnesses is paying off a bit.

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study released Thursday found that since the early 1990s, there's been a 10 percent drop in prescription rates for antibiotics for kids 14 and younger.

The CDC found larger declines in how often doctors used antibiotics against colds and sore throats. There wasn't much change in how often they are used against ear infections.

Antibiotics are often used — but don't work — against viral illnesses. Such misuse can lead to treatment failures and bacterial resistance to antibiotics. Experts say doctors inappropriately prescribe antibiotics more than 50 percent of the time, and more often with respiratory infections.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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