Outpatient prescribing and prophylactic antibiotic use for recurrent urinary tract infections in British Columbia, Canada
Keywords:Antimicrobial, Prescribing, Primary Care, Urinary Tract Infection, Epidemiology, Public Health
Introduction: Urinary tract infection (UTI) is one of the most common infections, has frequent recurrences, and may debilitate quality of life. UTI is considered recurrent if there are three individual cases of UTI within 12 months. The objective of this study was to set a baseline for recurrent urinary tract infections (rUTI) in women, and rUTI-associated antibiotic prescribing in the presence of antimicrobial stewardship efforts.
Methods: Data for rUTI in women were organized through a provincial prescription database, physician billing system, and a consolidation file to combine antibiotic prescribing, diagnoses, and patient demographics. Rates of rUTI cases and prescriptions were examined, and trends of antibiotics were separated by major anatomical therapeutic chemical classes.
Results: A total of 2 234 903 rUTI-associated prescriptions were dispensed for 674 785 rUTI cases from 2008–2018; 2 205 703 prescriptions were for treatment and 29 310 prescriptions were for prophylaxis of rUTI. The prevalence of rUTI cases declined by 59%, while overall rUTI-associated antibiotic prescribing decreased by 73%. The greatest decrease was seen in quinolones (87%), while nitrofurantoin became the most common rUTI antibiotic dispensed, accounting for 42% of prescriptions overall.
Conclusions: Implementation of numerous antimicrobial stewardship efforts may have contributed to the decrease in antibiotic prescribing, particularly for quinolones. In line with local antibiograms and guidelines, nitrofurantoin is the most used antibiotic for rUTI by far, distinctly preferred over other antibiotics secondary to the lack of E. coli resistance.
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