Outpatient Antifungal Prescribing Patterns in the United States, 2018
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Outpatient Antifungal Prescribing Patterns in the United States, 2018

Public Access Version Available on: December 22, 2023, 12:00 AM
Please check back on the date listed above.
  • English

  • Details:

    • Alternative Title:
      Antimicrob Steward Healthc Epidemiol
    • Description:

      Widespread inappropriate antibiotic prescribing is a major driver of resistance. Little is known about antifungal prescribing practices in the United States, which is concerning given emerging resistance in fungi, particularly to azole antifungals.


      We analyzed outpatient U.S. antifungal prescribing data to inform stewardship efforts.


      Descriptive analysis of outpatient antifungal prescriptions dispensed during 2018 in the IQVIA Xponent database.


      Prescriptions were summarized by drug, sex, age, geography, and healthcare provider specialty. Census denominators were used to calculate prescribing rates among demographic groups.


      Healthcare providers prescribed 22.4 million antifungal courses in 2018 (68 prescriptions per 1,000 persons). Fluconazole was the most common drug (75%), followed by terbinafine (11%) and nystatin (10%). Prescription rates were higher among females vs. males (110 vs. 25 per 1,000) and adults vs. children (82 vs. 27 per 1,000). Prescription rates were highest in the South (81 per 1,000 persons) and lowest in the West (48 per 1,000 persons). Nurse practitioners and family practitioners prescribed the most antifungals (43% of all prescriptions), but the highest prescribing rates were among obstetrician-gynecologists (84 per provider).


      Prescribing of antifungal drugs in the outpatient setting was common, with enough courses dispensed for one in every 15 U.S. residents in 2018. Fluconazole use patterns suggest vulvovaginal candidiasis as a common indication. Regional prescribing differences could reflect inappropriate use or variations in disease burden. Further study of higher antifungal use in the South could help target antifungal stewardship practices.

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