Background: In Norway, a substantial increase in the use of fluoroquinolones (in the last years) has occurred in parallel with a disconcertering increase in ciprofloxacin resistant E. Coli bacteria. Elderly patients (over 70 years) use most antibiotics. The purpose of this study is to investigate prescribing of fluoroquinolone in nursing homes within a Norwegian municipality.
Material and methods: Clinical information was recorded for nursing home patients treated with fluoroquinolone in Arendal municipality in the period 01.12.06-31.11.07.
Results: 94 courses of ciprofloxacin were prescribed for 78 patients. No patients were treated with ofloxacine. Urinary tract infection was the most common indication for patients both in long- term (78%) and short term (40%) wards. In short-term wards, respiratory tract infection was also a common indication for prescribing ciprofloxacin (37%), but not in long- term wards (4%). 44 infections (47%) were verified by microbiology culture. 12 infections were caused by a bacterium susceptible only to ciprofloxacin.
Interpretation: Ciprofloxacin was used in a large proportion of the patients in cases when another antibiotic should have been the first choice according to Norwegian national guidelines. Results of microbiology culture showed that most pathogens were susceptible to antibiotics with a narrower spectrum than ciprofloxacin.