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Antimicrobial drug prescribing for pneumonia in ambulatory care.

  • Author(s): MacDougall, Conan
  • Guglielmo, B Joseph
  • Maselli, Judy
  • Gonzales, Ralph
  • et al.
Abstract

To determine patterns and predictors of antimicrobial drug use for outpatients with community-acquired pneumonia, we examined office visit and pharmacy claims data of 4 large third-party payer organizations from 2000 to 2002. After patients with coexisting conditions were excluded, 4,538 patients were studied. Despite lack of coexisting conditions, fluoroquinolone use was commonly observed and increased significantly (p < 0.001) from 2000 to 2002 (24%-39%), while macrolide use decreased (55%-44%). Increased age correlated with increased fluoroquinolone use: 18-44 years (22%), 45-64 years (33%), and > or =65 years (40%) (p < 0.001). Increased use of fluoroquinolones occurred in healthy young and old patients alike, which suggests a lack of selectivity in reserving fluoroquinolones for higher risk patients. Clear and consistent guidelines are needed to address the role of fluoroquinolones in treatment of outpatient community-acquired pneumonia.

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