Objectives: This study examined antimicrobial prescribing patterns for adults and children with bronchitis or upper respiratory infections (URIs) before and after release of nationally disseminated pediatric practice recommendations.
Methods: Data from the 1993, 1995, 1997, and 1999 National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey were used to evaluate prescriptions for antimicrobials for URIs and bronchitis.
Results: From 1993 to 1999, the proportion of children receiving antimicrobials after visits for URIs and bronchitis decreased. However, the use of broad-spectrum antimicrobials rose from 10.6% of bronchitis visits to 40.5%. Prescriptions of antimicrobials for adults with URIs or bronchitis showed a decrease between 1993 and 1999.
Conclusions: Although antimicrobial prescribing for URIs and bronchitis has decreased for both children and adults, the prescribing of broad-spectrum antibiotics among children has shown a proportional rise.