"We looked at all outpatient antibiotic prescribing and results suggest misuse of these drugs is a huge problem, no matter the symptom," said Jeffrey A. Linder, MD, MPH, lead author of the study and chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago. "We found that nearly half the time, clinicians have either a bad reason for prescribing antibiotics, or don't provide a reason at all. When you consider about 80 percent of antibiotics are prescribed on an outpatient basis, that's a concern."
Clinicians prescribed antibiotics without an infection-related diagnosis nearly half of the time and one in five prescriptions were provided without an in-person visit, according to research being presented at IDWeek 2018. The study, which is the first to look at overall outpatient antibiotic prescribing, analyzed more than half a million prescriptions from 514 outpatient clinics.