Skip to content

    Children's Health

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Antibiotic Prescriptions Dip for Kids

    Certain Antibiotics Are Now Less Commonly Used to Treat Respiratory Tract Infections, but Other Antibiotics Step Up
    By
    WebMD Health News
    Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

    Aug. 19, 2009 -- Doctors aren't writing prescriptions for certain antibiotics to treat children's respiratory tract infections as much as they used to, a new study shows.

    The researchers -- who included Carlos Grijalva, MD, MPH, of Vanderbilt University's medical school -- used national data to see if antibiotic use was still declining, a trend that began in the 1990s.

    Grijalva's team was interested because there's been a long-term effort to tighten up on antibiotic use, in order to fight the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

    On one hand, the study shows an 18% drop in antibiotic prescriptions in people with respiratory tract infections.

    That includes a 36% drop in the antibiotic prescription rate for respiratory tract infections among U.S. kids younger than 5, mainly because of fewer doctor visits by kids with ear infection and a drop in prescriptions of certain antibiotics, such as penicillin and amoxicillin, to treat children's respiratory tract infections.

    But prescription rates shot up for other antibiotics.

    For instance, azithromycin's prescription rate for respiratory tract infections among children younger than 5 rose ninefold between 1995-1996 and 2005-2006. Prescription rates for quinolones (another type of antibiotic) also rose for people aged 5 and older. And antibiotic prescriptions for respiratory tract infections weren't down among people aged 50 and older.

    The findings among young children are "encouraging," write the researchers, adding that "further efforts to improve antibiotic selection are needed."

    The study appears in The Journal of the American Medical Association.

    Today on WebMD

    child with red rash on cheeks
    What’s that rash?
    plate of fruit and veggies
    How healthy is your child’s diet?
     
    smiling baby
    Treating diarrhea, fever and more.
    Middle school band practice
    Understanding your child’s changing body.
     

    worried kid
    fitArticle
    jennifer aniston
    Slideshow
     
    Measles virus
    Article
    sick child
    Slideshow
     

    babyapp
    New
    Child with adhd
    Slideshow
     
    rl with friends
    fitSlideshow
    Child Coughing or Sneezing into Elbow
    Article