Every year, thousands of emergency department (ED) visits result in patients being discharged with oral antibiotic prescriptions. Published studies that assess the appropriateness of these antibiotic regimens are limited.
The purpose of this study from Bauman et al. was to examine the appropriateness of antibiotic prescriptions written for patients discharged from a community hospital’s ED.
A total of 76% of the prescribed antibiotics were appropriate, 16% were inappropriate, and the remaining 8% were not assessable. Duration was the most common reason for a regimen to not be optimal. The most frequently inappropriately prescribed antibiotics included cephalexin (but it is noted cephalexin was included in almost half of the antibiotic regimens in this study), clindamycin, and azithromycin. Infections that were most frequently treated inappropriately were skin and soft tissue infections, dental infections, and sinusitis.