Inappropriate Antibiotic Use for Pneumonia Common

Change is needed.

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By Bridget M. Kuehn

Inappropriate use of broad-spectrum antibiotics to treat children with pneumonia remains common, despite guidelines recommending more targeted treatment, two studies published online March 7 in Pediatrics have found. But some evidence suggests that stewardship efforts are starting to improve adherence to evidence-based prescribing practices.

Numerous efforts are underway to promote better antibiotic stewardship. For example, the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society and the Infectious Diseases Society of America released guidelines in 2011 promoting amoxicillin or penicillin as first-line choice for treatment of community-acquired pneumonia in children. Still, prescribing of broad-spectrum antibiotics for childhood pneumonia remains common in inpatient and outpatient settings.

“Antibiotic choice for [community-acquired pneumonia] varied widely across practices,” Lori Handy, MD, professor of pediatrics at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, and colleagues write in the first study. “Factors unlikely related to the microbiologic etiology of [community-acquired pneumonia] were significant drivers of antibiotic choice.”

Read article here.

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