Amoxicillin is associated with a lower risk of further antibiotic prescriptions for lower respiratory tract infections in primary care - A database analysis spanning over 30 years

Marie Stolbrink, Laura J Bonnett, John D Blakey

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Antibiotic prescriptions for lower respiratory tract infections occur commonly in primary care but there is uncertainty about the most effective initial treatment strategy. Both increasing antimicrobial resistance and awareness of preventable harm from medicines make resolving this uncertainty a priority. Pragmatic, real-life epidemiological investigations are needed to inform future interventional studies. In this cross-sectional database study we analysed antibiotic prescriptions for non-pneumonic, lower respiratory tract infections (LRTI) in primary care as captured in the Optimum Care Database from 1984 to 2017. The primary outcome was a second antibiotic prescription for a LRTI code within 14 days of index prescription, the secondary outcome further antibiotic prescription for any indication. Only individuals without chronic respiratory diseases were included. We conducted univariable analysis to identify factors associated with repeat prescriptions and generate hypotheses for forthcoming projects. We analysed 367,188 index prescriptions for LRTI. Amoxicillin was the commonest used index drug (65.1%). In 6% a second antibiotic course coded for a further LRTI was prescribed (11.2% without this coding restriction). Further antibiotic prescriptions for LRTI were significantly associated with older age, previous smoking, seven day index courses and not using amoxicillin initially. The largest effect size was seen when amoxicillin was not used as index drug (odds ratio (OR) 1.15, p < 0.001). This would support current prescribing practice for amoxicillin as index drug in those without respiratory disease. Prospective studies are needed to explore the observed differences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1529535
JournalEuropean Clinical Respiratory Journal
Volume5
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes

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