Study Reveals Inappropriate Antibiotic Prescription Practices

Study Reveals Inappropriate Antibiotic Prescription Practices

Almost three-quarters of antibiotic prescriptions to patients aged 65 years or older and two-thirds to Black patients are inappropriate, according to a U.S. study of more than 7 billion visits to doctor’s offices, hospital clinics and emergency departments over seven years.

The study by researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio found that most of the inappropriate prescribing is for illnesses that are not caused by bacterial infections — including nonbacterial skin conditions, viral respiratory tract infections and bronchitis.

The study, which will be presented at the April 23-26 European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases in Lisbon, Portugal, cites the U.S. as a country that prescribes antibiotics far more often than other countries.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that at least 30 percent of outpatient antibiotics are unnecessary and that up to 50 percent of antibiotics are inappropriately prescribed, including inappropriate selection, dosing and duration.

April 22, 2022

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