How are antibacterials used in nursing homes? Results from a point-prevalence prescription study in 44 Norwegian nursing homes

Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2010 Oct;19(10):1025-30. doi: 10.1002/pds.1980.


Purpose: To describe the use of antibacterials among nursing home residents in Norway according to diagnosis, therapy choice, doses and expected duration of treatment.

Methods: A one-day point-prevalence study was carried out in 44 Norwegian nursing homes, spring 2006. Use of systemic antibacterials was recorded by indication, antibiotic name, dose and expected length of treatment.

Results: Of the 1473 nursing home residents, 224 (15%) were prescribed antibiotics. 149 (10%) were given antibiotics as prophylaxis, while 85 residents (6%) were treated with an antibiotic for an infection. 10 residents received both prophylaxis and treatment simultaneously. Antibiotics for treatment were in 66% of the cases for urinary tract infections (UTI) and in 20% for respiratory tract infections (RTI) with pivmecillinam and phenoxymethylpenicillin most frequently used, respectively.

Conclusions: Antibiotics are often used in nursing homes, both as treatment and prophylaxis. The most common infections treated with antibiotics were UTIs, followed by RTIs. Choice of antibacterial, dosage and duration of treatment were in accordance with recommendations in guidelines.

MeSH terms

  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Drug Utilization
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infections / drug therapy*
  • Male
  • Norway
  • Nursing Homes*
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / drug therapy*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Urinary Tract Infections / drug therapy*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents