Prescription of antibiotics for urinary tract infection in general practice in Denmark

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Objective: The aim of this study was to describe and characterize the prescription of antibiotics for urinary tract infection (UTI) in general practice in Denmark and to evaluate compliance with current recommendations. Design: National registry-based study Setting: Danish general practice Patients: 267.539 patients who redeemed a prescription for antibiotics with the clinical indication UTI at community pharmacies between July 1st 2012 and June 31st 2013. Main outcome measures: Antibiotics prescribed for 1) acute lower UTI, 2) acute upper UTI and 3) recurrent UTI presented as amount of prescriptions, number of treatments per 1000 inhabitants per day (TID) and defined daily doses per 1000 inhabitants per day (DID). Results: A total of 507.532 prescriptions were issued to 267.539 patients during the one year study period, representing 2.35 DID. Acute lower UTI was the most common reason for prescription of antibiotics (89.5%) followed by recurrent UTI (8.4%). The majority of the prescriptions were issued to people above 60 year old (57.6%). Pivmecillinam was the most commonly prescribed antibiotic in acute lower (45.8%) and acute upper (63.3%) UTI. Trimethroprim was the most commonly prescribed antibiotic in recurrent UTI (45.9%). Prescription of quinolones increased with increasing patient-age (p = <.0001). Conclusion: Compliance with current Danish recommendations was moderately high. Pivmecillinam is the first line antibiotic for the management of acute lower and upper UTI, and trimethroprim is the first line option of recurrent UTI. A high proportion of the antibiotic prescriptions were issued in the elderly population including a relatively high prescription rate of quinolones.Key points Urinary tract infection (UTI) is a common cause for prescription of antibiotics in general practice Poor compliance in general practice with recommendations for first-line treatment of UTI may increase antibiotic resistance Danish general practitioners are generally compliant with national and regional guidelines for antibiotic treatment of UTI There is high use of antibiotics in the elderly population including a worrisome high use of broad-spectrum antibiotics, such as Quinolones.

Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)83-89
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2019

    Research areas

  • antibiotics, general practice, Urinary tract infections

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