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Decrease in frequency of prescription of antibiotics in children under 5

The problem of increasing the resistance of microorganisms to antibacterial drugs imposes the urgent need to limit their irrational use.

To assess changes in antibiotic prescribing tactics, a study has been conducted in the United States on the use of this group of drugs in children under 5 years of age (for whom antimicrobials are prescribed the most often) for the period 1993 to 1999.

The study analyzed data obtained in the National Epidemiological Study of Outpatient Care, which allowed us to identify the main trends in the appointment of antibacterial drugs for children under 5 years old on an outpatient basis. Data were stratified by region of residence, race and sex of the patients. The prescription frequency for antibiotics was calculated for 1,000 children using the US census. In addition, the frequency of administration of certain groups of antimicrobial agents has been determined: penicillins, cephalosporins, macrolides and sulfonamides.

As the results of the study showed, most often, antibacterial drugs were prescribed in 1995 (1191 courses of antibiotics per 1000 children). In 1999, the frequency of antibiotic use decreased by 41% to 698 appointments per 1,000 children.

It should be noted that penicillins and cephalosporins accounted for a total of 77% and 70% of the total number of antibacterial drugs prescribed during the period from 1993 to 1997 and from 1998 to 1999, respectively.

Macrolide antibiotics were prescribed much less frequently. Thus, in the period from 1993 to 1997, the frequency of their use was 9% of the total number of antibacterial drugs prescribed, but it increased slightly in 1998 and 1999. up to 16%.

The results of the study allow us to conclude that the frequency of prescription of antibacterial drugs in children under 5 years of age decreased considerably during the period from 1995 to 1999. At the same time, certain changes in the structure of the antibiotics prescribed are produced. Researchers say that work to reduce the frequency of using antibacterial drugs has been successful. More studies are needed to determine if reduced use of antibiotics will affect microbial resistance.