Journal Article

Antibiotic Prescribing for Canadian Preschool Children: Evidence of Overprescribing for Viral Respiratory Infections

Elaine E. L. Wang, Thomas R. Einarson, James D. Kellner and John M. Conly

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 29, issue 1, pages 155-160
Published in print July 1999 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online July 1999 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/520145
Antibiotic Prescribing for Canadian Preschool Children: Evidence of Overprescribing for Viral Respiratory Infections

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Antibiotic resistance is associated with prior receipt of antibiotics. An analysis of linked computerized databases for physician visits and antibiotic prescriptions was used to examine antibiotic prescribing for different respiratory infections in preschool children in Canada. In 1995, 64% of 61,165 children aged <5 years made 140,892 visits (mean, 3.6 visits per child) for respiratory infections; 74% of children who made visits received antibiotic prescriptions. Antibiotics were prescribed to 49% of children with upper respiratory tract infection, 18% with nasopharyngitis, 78% with pharyngitis or tonsillitis, 32% with serous otitis media, 80% with acute otitis media, 61% with sinusitis, 44% with acute laryngitis or tracheitis, and 24% with influenza. Acute otitis media accounted for 33% of all visits and 39% of all antibiotic prescriptions. The estimated Canadiandollar cost of overprescribing was $423,693, or 49% of the total cost of antibiotics ($859,893) used in this group. This population-based study confirms antibiotic overprescribing in Canada.

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Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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