Objectives: The aim of this study was to evaluate the appropriateness of piperacillin/tazobactam (Tazocin(®); Pfizer, New York, NY) usage in our hospital.
Subjects and methods: This retrospective study was designed to involve all patients admitted to Hamad General Hospital and prescribed piperacillin/tazobactam as an empiric therapy from January 1 to March 31, 2008. The medical records of such patients were retrospectively reviewed and studied.
Results: During this period, 610 prescriptions were ordered for 596 patients. The main indication for initiation of Tazocin was sepsis (207/610; 34%). The overall rate of appropriateness of empirical therapy was 348/610 (57%). Most of the inappropriate prescriptions were in cases of aspiration pneumonia and abdominal infections, with inappropriate prescriptions found mostly in surgical wards (86%) and the surgical intensive care unit (66.7%). Septic work-up results showed positive cultures in 57% (345/610) of cases. There were 198/254 prescriptions (78%) where antibiotics were changed according to the sensitivity data to narrow-spectrum antimicrobials. In 56/254 (22%) cases, pathogens were susceptible to narrow-spectrum antibiotics even though piperacillin/tazobactam was continued.
Conclusion: Our study showed that there was an injudicious use of piperacillin/tazobactam at our hospital, evidenced by the significant number of inappropriate empiric prescriptions and inappropriate drug modifications, based on the results of microbial cultures and antibiograms.
Keywords: appropriate use; broad-spectrum antibiotics; empiric therapy; piperacillin/tazobactam.