Antibiotic prescription by general practitioners for urinary tract infections in outpatients

Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2012 Nov;31(11):3079-83. doi: 10.1007/s10096-012-1668-9. Epub 2012 Jun 22.


In July 2008, in France, guidelines for antibiotic prescriptions for urinary tract infections (UTIs) were amended. As general practitioners (GPs) treat numerous UTIs, we wanted to evaluate whether they followed these guidelines. In order to do this, we performed a prospective study. The point of call was urinalyses. Using this selection method together with criteria diagnostic for urinalysis, we confirmed that patients presented a UTI. Each GP was contacted. Prescriptions were analysed and compared to the 2008 French guidelines for UTIs. Our study included 185 urinalyses. UTIs diagnosed by GPs were as follows: acute cystitis: 72.4 %, prostatitis: 13.5 %, nephritis: 8.7 % and asymptomatic bacteriuria: 5.4 %. The principal antibiotics used were: quinolone (59.5 %), furan (17.8 %) and cotrimoxazole (6.5 %). Only 20 % of the prescriptions were compliant with the guidelines. The correct antibiotic but not the dose or the duration of prescription was selected in 8.1 % of the prescriptions. For cystitis, inappropriate prescription was associated with an extra cost of 694 <euro>, namely, 7.4 <euro> per treatment. GP prescriptions for UTIs do not follow the guidelines. Even if GPs assert that they are aware of the emergence of resistant strains, it seems that they do not take into account the objective of quinolone restriction, which was one of the backbones of these guidelines.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Drug Prescriptions / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • France
  • General Practice / methods*
  • General Practitioners*
  • Guideline Adherence / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Outpatients*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Urinary Tract Infections / drug therapy*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents