Antimicrobial and Analgesic Prescribing Patterns for Acute Otitis Externa, 2004–2010
Published Date:Nov 06 2012
Source:Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 148(1):128-134.
Ambulatory Care Facilities
Emergency Service, Hospital
Pubmed Central ID:PMC4624209
Funding:CC999999/Intramural CDC HHS/United States
Acute otitis externa (AOE) is a common but preventable ear condition. Clinical guidelines issued in 2006 recommended topical treatments for uncomplicated AOE, but systemic antimicrobials appear to be commonly prescribed. The objective of this analysis was to describe pre- and postguideline prescribing patterns by clinician specialty and antimicrobial type and assess trends over time.
Retrospective longitudinal analysis of a large insurance database.
Outpatient departments in the United States.
Initial outpatient visits in 2004 to 2010 for AOE (excluding visits with complicating conditions) were extracted from an insurance database. Prescription drug claims were linked and categorized by clinician specialty and antimicrobial type.
The analysis included 907,261 initial outpatient visits. Use of systemic antimicrobials declined by 4.9% (95% confidence interval [CI], 4.1%, 5.7%) from 36.5% of initial visits in 2004 to 32.1% in 2010. Use of systemic antimicrobials varied by specialty. Systemic antimicrobials were prescribed in 47.1% of 2010 emergency department (ED) visits (−6.9% from 2004, 95% CI –12.3, −1.5), 25.9% of otolaryngologist visits (−1.6%, 95% CI –5.6, 2.4), and 20.4% of pediatrician visits (−6.6%, 95% CI –8.8, –4.4). Penicillins were prescribed most frequently (42.3% of systemic prescriptions in 2010), followed by cephalosporins (19.8%), erythromycin/macrolides (17.4%), and quinolones (11.1%). Opioids were prescribed in 26.4% of ED visits and 9% of outpatient visits.
Use of systemic antimicrobials declined over time, but one-third of 2010 visits resulted in systemic antimicrobials, despite exclusion of visits with complicating factors. Use of systemic antimicrobials varied by specialty. Further educational efforts and outreach to other specialties might be warranted.
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