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Antibiotics: two fifths of US outpatient prescriptions may be inappropriate, study finds

BMJ 2019; 367 doi: (Published 12 December 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;367:l6961

Linked Research

Antibiotic prescribing without documented indication in ambulatory care clinics

  1. Elisabeth Mahase
  1. The BMJ

As many as two in five antibiotic prescriptions (43%) provided in outpatient settings in the US could be inappropriate, a study published by The BMJ has found.1

Researchers from Oregon, USA, looked at prescriptions in ambulatory settings such as primary care and found that a quarter (25%) were deemed to be inappropriate, while a further 18% did not have an indication.

However, primary care providers (general practice, paediatrics, and internal medicine) performed the best, giving a considerably lower percentage of antibiotic prescriptions without a documented indication (12%) than other specialists such as gynaecologists and urologists, who commonly prescribed antibiotics (24%), as well as those in all other specialties (29%).

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The research team …

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