[Antibiotic prescribing in acute respiratory tract infections in general practice]

An Pediatr (Barc). 2015 Jun;82(6):412-6. doi: 10.1016/j.anpedi.2014.07.016. Epub 2014 Sep 11.
[Article in Spanish]


Introduction: Antimicrobial resistance is a worldwide threat to public health. Acute respiratory tract infections are the main reason for antibiotic prescribing in the Spanish paediatric population. The aim of the study was to describe the frequency of antibiotic prescription and their pattern of use in acute respiratory tract infections diagnosed in children in Primary Care in Aragón (Spain).

Methodology: A study was conducted over a 1-year period on children between 0 and 14 years-old, recording all episodes of acute otitis, acute pharyngotonsillitis, non-specific upper respiratory infection, and acute bronchitis. The proportion of episodes within each diagnosis receiving an antibiotic prescription was calculated, and the prescribing pattern was determined.

Results: Half (50%) of the children in Aragón were diagnosed with a respiratory tract infection during the study period. Non-specific upper respiratory infection was the most frequent diagnosis. An antibiotic was prescribed in 75% of pharyngotonsillitis episodes, 72% of otitis, 27% of bronchitis, and 16% of non-specific upper respiratory infections. Broad spectrum antibiotics, mainly amoxicillin and amoxicillin-clavulanic, were predominantly prescribed.

Conclusions: Antibiotic prescribing in respiratory tract infections in children was generally high, and the choice of antibiotics was probably inappropriate in a high percentage of cases. Therefore an improvement in antibiotic prescribing in children appears to be needed.

Keywords: Adecuación; Antimicrobial; Antimicrobianos; Appropriateness; Atención primaria; Enfermedades respiratorias; General practice; Paediatrics; Pediatría; Respiratory diseases.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adolescent
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Drug Prescriptions / statistics & numerical data*
  • Drug Utilization / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • General Practice
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / drug therapy*
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents