Antibiotic Prescriptions Down for Pediatric Patients

But the drugs continue to be overprescribed for those aged 14 and under

FRIDAY, Sept. 2 (HealthDay News) -- The rate of antibiotic prescriptions flowing from pediatric offices has dropped by nearly a quarter since 1993, but the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says this is not enough to address the problem of antibiotic resistance in the United States, according to a report published in the Sept. 2 issue of the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Linda F. McCaig, M.P.H., of the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics in Atlanta, and colleagues analyzed data from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey from 1993-1994 to 2007-2008 to evaluate trends in the prescription of antibiotics among the pediatric population.

The researchers found that the rate of antibiotic prescriptions for youths aged 14 and younger fell 24 percent during that time, from 300 antibiotic courses per 1,000 office visits in 1993-1994 to 229 in 2007-2008. Considering that antibiotic use is a major factor contributing to the growth of antibiotic resistance, they determined that even with this decrease in prescription rates, antibiotics are still being overprescribed in youths.

"Although the overall antibiotic prescribing rate for persons aged ≤14 years has decreased, the rate remains inappropriately high. Further efforts are needed to decrease inappropriate antibiotic prescribing for persons aged ≤14 years," the authors write.

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