Office-related antibiotic prescribing for persons aged ≤ 14 years--United States, 1993-1994 to 2007-2008

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2011 Sep 2;60(34):1153-6.


In 2003, the Institute of Medicine identified antibiotic resistance as a key microbial threat to health in the United States and recommended promoting appropriate antibiotic use as an important strategy to address this threat. Antibiotic use contributes to development of antibiotic resistance on both the individual and country level. To examine trends in pediatric antibiotic prescribing in physician offices, CDC analyzed data from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS) for the period 1993-1994 to 2007-2008. This report summarizes the results of that analysis, which found that antibiotic prescribing rates for persons aged ≤ 14 years who had visited physician offices decreased 24% from 300 antibiotic courses per 1,000 office visits in 1993-1994 to 229 antibiotic courses per 1,000 office visits in 2007-2008. Among the five acute respiratory infections (ARIs) examined, antibiotic prescribing rates decreased 26% for pharyngitis and 19% for nonspecific upper respiratory infection (common cold); prescribing rates for otitis media, bronchitis, and sinusitis did not change significantly. Although the overall antibiotic prescribing rate for persons aged ≤ 14 years has decreased, the rate remains inappropriately high. Further efforts are needed to decrease inappropriate antibiotic prescribing for persons aged ≤ 14 years.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infections / drug therapy
  • Office Visits / statistics & numerical data*
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / statistics & numerical data*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • United States


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents