Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Antibiotic Prescribing Should Be Standardized Across Europe To Help Tackle Resistance, Experts Urge

Date:
June 24, 2009
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
Antibiotic prescribing for respiratory illnesses should be standardized across Europe to help reduce inappropriate prescribing and resistance, say experts.

Antibiotic prescribing for respiratory illnesses should be standardised across Europe to help reduce inappropriate prescribing and resistance, say experts in a study published on the British Medical Journal website.

Antibiotic resistance is a growing problem worldwide. In Europe, 39% of invasive bacteria were resistant to penicillin in 2006 and unnecessary antibiotic prescribing, particularly for respiratory illnesses, has been blamed for increasing antibiotic resistance.

Some evidence also suggests that most antibiotic prescriptions do not help these patients get better any quicker, although the results are still unclear.

So a team of researchers set out to describe variation in antibiotic prescribing for acute cough across Europe, and its impact on recovery.

The study involved 3,402 adults with a new or worsening cough or a possible lower respiratory tract infection. Patients were recruited from 14 primary care research networks in 13 European countries (Wales, England, The Netherlands, Spain, Germany, Hungary, Belgium, Poland, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Slovakia).

Medical history, existing conditions, symptoms and their management, including antibiotic prescription, and temperature were recorded for each patient. Clinicians then rated the severity of their symptoms using a recognised scoring scale.

Patients also recorded and rated the severity of their symptoms for 28 days using symptom diaries.

Overall, antibiotics were prescribed for 53% of patients, but prescribing ranged from 20% to nearly 90% across the networks. For example, patients in Slovakia, Italy, Hungary, Poland and Wales were at least twice as likely to be prescribed antibiotics than the overall average, while patients in Norway, Belgium and Sweden were at least four times less likely to be prescribed antibiotics than the overall average.

Major differences in the decision whether or not to prescribe an antibiotic remained, even after the researchers adjusted for symptoms, duration of illness, smoking, age, temperature, and existing conditions (co-morbidity).

Furthermore, this variation in antibiotic prescribing was not associated with clinically important differences in patients' recovery.

There were also marked differences between networks in the choice of antibiotic. Amoxicillin was overall the most common antibiotic prescribed but this ranged from 3% of prescriptions in Norway to 83% in England. These differences may be due to different guidelines and habits in different countries, say the authors.

This is the largest study of its kind, and the results suggest that management of acute cough is an issue that is appropriate for standardised international care pathways promoting conservative antibiotic prescribing, conclude the authors.

Professor Chris Butler, of Cardiff University, who led the study, said: "This international collaborative research showed that the big differences in antibiotic prescribing between countries are not justified on clinical grounds. It therefore identifies a major opportunity for greater standardisation of care across Europe."

Professor Herman Goossens of the University of Antwerp who coordinates the GRACE Network of Excellence added, "This threat of antibiotic resistance is likely to be more acute as GPs face increasing demands to prescribe antibiotics for acute cough amidst the current global H1N1 flu pandemic. This new evidence should prove instrumental in containing antibiotic prescribing."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Antibiotic Prescribing Should Be Standardized Across Europe To Help Tackle Resistance, Experts Urge." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 June 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090624093355.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2009, June 24). Antibiotic Prescribing Should Be Standardized Across Europe To Help Tackle Resistance, Experts Urge. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090624093355.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Antibiotic Prescribing Should Be Standardized Across Europe To Help Tackle Resistance, Experts Urge." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090624093355.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) Nine-month-old Wyatt Scott was born with a rare disorder called congenital trismus, which prevents him from opening his mouth. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins