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J Infect. 2007 Mar;54(3):235-44. Epub 2006 Jul 10.

Assessment of antibiotic prescription in acute urinary tract infections in adults.

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Servicio de Urgencias, Hospital General La Paz, Madrid, Spain. <>



To assess the appropriateness of antibiotic prescription for urinary tract infections in several hospital emergency services and to evaluate the variability of antibiotic prescription among these services.


A cross-sectional study was carried out in the emergency services of 10 hospitals from different Spanish regions. The sample was composed of patients diagnosed with acute urinary infection, aged> or =14 years. A Consensus Conference, held by a panel of experts, established first-choice, second-choice and inappropriate antibiotic treatments for each type of urinary tract infection, based on the available scientific evidence. All the observed prescriptions in our study were classified according to this pattern. The main variables were: type of urinary infection, antibiotic prescription, urine culture request, comorbidity and hospital admission.


A sample of 3797 acute urinary tract infections was studied. Eighty-one percent were lower urinary tract infections. The most commonly used antibiotics were ciprofloxacin and amoxicillin-clavulanate. The global percentages of first-choice, alternative-choice and inappropriate antibiotic prescriptions were: 42.4% (95% CI: 40.8-43.9), 44.1 (95% CI: 42.5-45.7) and 13.6% (95% CI: 12.5-14.7), respectively. We observed a significant variability in appropriateness of antibiotic prescriptions among the participating centres (p<0.001).


Physicians at Spanish emergency rooms prescribe an excessive number of second-choice antibiotics for urinary tract infection treatment. There exists a high variability in antibiotic prescription among hospitals from different regions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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