Roughly a Third of Outpatient Antibiotic Prescriptions May Be Inappropriate

Researchers used CDC survey data on roughly 184,000 ambulatory care visits in 2010–2011 to estimate national antibiotic prescribing rates. Nearly 13% of the visits resulted in antibiotic prescriptions. Overall, an estimated 506 antibiotic prescriptions per 1000 population were written each year, but just 353 per 1000 were deemed to be appropriate (based on national guidelines and other parameters). Respiratory infections in particular (e.g., sinusitis, pharyngitis) accounted for 221 antibiotic prescriptions per 1000, but just 111 per 1000 were considered appropriate. Learn more.