Intended for healthcare professionals


Antibiotics account for 19% of emergency department visits in US for adverse events

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: (Published 15 August 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a1324
  1. Bob Roehr
  1. 1Washington, DC

    Adverse events associated with antibiotics result in more than 142 000 visits a year to hospital emergency departments in the United States. The drugs were implicated in 19% of all emergency department visits for drug related adverse events.

    The rate of 10.5 emergency department visits per 10 000 outpatient prescriptions of antibiotics “was higher than expected,” says the paper in Clinical Infectious Diseases (doi: 10.1086/591126). That was about half the rate of events attributed to “high risk” drugs such as warfarin, insulin, and digoxin (20.6 visits per 10 000 prescriptions), the authors write.

    The rate among infants aged …

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