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Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2009 Aug;28(8):893-7. doi: 10.1007/s10096-009-0719-3. Epub 2009 Feb 20.

Antibiotic prescribing over the last 16 years: fewer antibiotics but the spectrum is broadening.

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Primary Care Centre Jaume I, University Rovira i Virgili, c. Foixarda, 95, 43008, Tarragona, Spain.


The purpose of this study was to quantify the antibiotics prescribed in the outpatient setting of all primary health care professionals in Catalonia during 1992-2007. We calculated prescribed defined daily doses per 1,000 inhabitants and day (DID) from data provided by the Catalonian Health Service. The antibiotics analysed belonged to the J01 group (ATC/DDD classification). The overall prescribing of antibacterials has decreased by 11.9% during this period (1992: 16.75 DID, 2007: 14.75 DID). During this 16-year period, an increase was observed for penicillins (from 46.1% in 1992 to 59.6% in 2007) and for quinolones (from 13.3% to 15.7%). The prescription of cephalosporins remained steady and, conversely, a decrease in macrolides was found (from 14.8% to 12.2%). The leading antibiotic prescribed in 2007 was amoxicillin plus clavulanic acid (5.15 DID), followed by amoxicillin (2.95 DID). The former has increased by 84.4% since 2002. Penicillin V prescribing reached a peak in 2007 with 0.034 DID. There has been a slight reduction in antibiotic prescription in this 16-year study, with an increase of penicillins, mainly at the expense of those of broader antibacterial spectrum. Awareness of the rational use of antibiotics is mandatory, basically aimed at reducing the overall prescribing of antibiotics and encouraging those with a narrower spectrum.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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