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Inappropriate Antibiotic Prescribing Common for Women With UTIs

Many women receive prescriptions for inappropriate agents or durations; rural women more likely to receive Rx with inappropriately long duration

FRIDAY, Feb. 26, 2021 (HealthDay News) — A considerable proportion of women with uncomplicated urinary tract infection (UTI) have inappropriate antibiotic prescribing, and rural women are more likely to receive prescriptions with inappropriately long duration, according to a study published online Feb. 24 in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology.

Abbye W. Clark, M.D., from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and colleagues examined rural-urban differences in temporal trends and the risk for inappropriate antibiotic use by agent and duration among 670,450 women with uncomplicated UTI, aged 18 to 44 years, using data from the IBM MarketScan Commercial Database (2010 to 2015).

The researchers found that a large proportion of the women received antibiotic prescriptions for inappropriate agents or durations (46.7 and 76.1 percent, respectively). Rural women were more likely than urban women to receive prescriptions with inappropriately long durations (adjusted risk ratio, 1.10); across subgroups, this finding was consistent. A slight decline was seen in the quarterly proportion of patients who received inappropriate agents and durations from 2011 to 2015 (48.5 to 43.7 percent and 78.3 to 73.4 percent, respectively). Over time, there was variation observed in rural-urban differences by agent, geographic region, and provider specialty.

“Inappropriate antibiotic prescriptions for uncomplicated urinary tract infections are prevalent and come with serious patient- and society-level consequences,” a coauthor said in a statement. “Our study findings underscore the need for antimicrobial stewardship interventions to improve outpatient antibiotic prescribing, particularly in rural settings.”

One author disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies.

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