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Most primary care clinical guidelines recommend restrictive antibiotic use for childhood infections. We investigated antibiotic prescription rates over time for oral and topical antibiotics for children (≤12 years) in the period 2000-2010. Longitudinal observational study among children (≤12 years) in a large Dutch general practice database in the period 2000-2010. Oral and topical antibiotic prescribing rates per year and independent factors influencing antibiotic prescriptions. We analysed 108 555 patient-years during 2000-2010. At least one chronic disease was recorded in 15.8% of patient-years, with asthma most commonly registered. In 14.8% of the patient-years at least one antibiotic was prescribed, while 26.3% of these received two or more prescriptions. Young age and chronic disease had a significant effect on antibiotic prescriptions. Prescriptions for oral and topical antibiotics increased 4.9% and 1.8%, respectively, during 2000-2005 (p<0.001). Prescription rates for oral antibiotics decreased 3.3% during 2006-2010 (p<0.001), while topical prescribing rates remained stable. One in six children received at least one oral antibiotic prescription per year during 2000-2010. While topical prescription rates steadily increased during 2005-2010 and remained stable during 2006-2010, prescription rates for oral antibiotics increased significantly during the period 2000-2005 and then significantly decreased during the period 2006-2010. As clinical guidelines remained the same over this period, the effects could be contributed to the initiation of the Dutch nationwide pneumococcal vaccination campaign in 2006.


Eefje G P M de Bont, Inge H M van Loo, Nicole H T M Dukers-Muijrers, Christian J P A Hoebe, Catharina A Bruggeman, Geert-Jan Dinant, Jochen W L Cals. Oral and topical antibiotic prescriptions for children in general practice. Archives of disease in childhood. 2013 Mar;98(3):228-31

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PMID: 23268371

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