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Rev Panam Salud Publica. 2010 Mar;27(3):219-25.

Trends in antibiotic utilization in eight Latin American countries, 1997-2007.

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Health Systems Research Centre, National Institute of Public Health, Cuernavaca, Mexico.



To describe the trends in antibiotic utilization in eight Latin American countries between 1997-2007


We analyzed retail sales data of oral and injectable antibiotics (World Health Organization (WHO) Anatomic Therapeutic Chemical (ATC) code J01) between 1997 and 2007 for Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela. Antibiotics were aggregated and utilization was calculated for all antibiotics (J01); for macrolides, lincosamindes, and streptogramins (J01 F); and for quinolones (J01 M). The kilogram sales of each antibiotic were converted into defined daily dose per 1 000 inhabitants per day (DID) according to the WHO ATC classification system. We calculated the absolute change in DID and relative change expressed in percent of DID variation, using 1997 as a reference


Total antibiotic utilization has increased in Peru, Venezuela, Uruguay, and Brazil, with the largest relative increases observed in Peru (5.58 DID, +70.6%) and Venezuela (4.81 DID, +43.0%). For Mexico (-2.43 DID; -15.5%) and Colombia (-4.10; -33.7%), utilization decreased. Argentina and Chile showed major reductions in antibiotic utilization during the middle of this period. In all countries, quinolone use increased, particularly sharply in Venezuela (1.86 DID, +282%). The increase in macrolide, lincosaminde, and streptogramin use was greatest in Peru (0.76 DID, +82.1%), followed by Brazil, Argentina, and Chile


Analyzing antibiotic utilization in Latin America presents a series of challenges. Creating policy-relevant evidence based on antimicrobial consumption patterns is needed in order to foster policies aimed at improving appropriate use of antibiotics in the region.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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