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J Antimicrob Chemother. 2007 May;59(5):971-6. Epub 2007 Feb 28.

Age- and gender-specific antibacterial prescribing in Norway.

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Department of Pharmacoepidemiology, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Marcus Thranes gate 6, NO-0403 Oslo, Norway.



To describe the use of antibacterials among outpatients in Norway and to explore patterns of age- and gender-specific use.


Data were extracted from the Norwegian Prescription Database (NorPD), a complete register of all dispensed prescriptions in Norway, in the period 1 July 2005-30 June 2006. NorPD contains data at an individual level. We extracted patients who had received an antibacterial for systemic use. Results were shown as population prevalences for the total population.


A total of 1.1 million persons had at least one prescription for an antibacterial dispensed. The mean population prevalence of antibacterial use was 24% in total (28% and 19% for women and men, respectively). Population prevalence changed markedly between different age groups and between genders. Children (<5 years) and older elderly people (>or=75 years) were high consumers. Females, in general, used more than males. Use by the different subgroups of antibacterials differed between gender and between different age groups. beta-Lactamase-sensitive penicillins was the most prevalent antibacterial group in all age groups except for women >or=75 years, for whom penicillins with extended spectrum were the most frequently used. Individuals defined as high users (using more than 60 DDDs/year) represented 3% of the population who were using antibacterials. These patients were older and used co-medication more often than other users of antibacterials.


Over 1 year, a quarter of the total population used antibacterials. Patterns of use and types of drugs used differed markedly between genders and between different age groups.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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