Association between asthma status and prenatal antibiotic prescription fills among women in a Medicaid population

J Asthma. 2022 Oct;59(10):2100-2107. doi: 10.1080/02770903.2021.1993247. Epub 2021 Oct 23.


Objective: Pregnant women with asthma have increased frequency of respiratory viral infections and exacerbations. Because of these risks, women with asthma may be subject to increased surveillance during pregnancy and may, therefore, be at increased risk of antibiotic receipt. The objective of this study was to assess the relationship between maternal asthma and outpatient prenatal antibiotic prescription fills to inform antibiotic stewardship.

Methods: We included women who delivered a singleton, term, non-low birthweight, and otherwise healthy infant enrolled in the Tennessee Medicaid Program. Maternal asthma and prenatal antibiotic fills were ascertained from healthcare encounters and outpatient pharmacy claims. We examined the association between maternal asthma and prenatal antibiotic fills using modified Poisson regression.

Results: Our study population included 168354 pregnant women, 4% of whom had asthma. Women with asthma had an increased risk of filling at least one prenatal antibiotic prescription (adjusted risk ratio [aRR] 1.27, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.25-1.28) and had an increased number of fills during pregnancy (aRR 1.54, 95% CI 1.51-1.57) compared to women without asthma. Among those who filled at least one antibiotic prescription, women with asthma had earlier first prenatal antibiotic prescription fill and increased likelihood of filling at least one course of broad-spectrum antibiotics during pregnancy (versus narrow-spectrum).

Conclusions: Pregnant women with asthma had more outpatient antibiotic prescription fills than pregnant women without asthma. These findings highlight that pregnant women with asthma disproportionately fill more antibiotic prescriptions during pregnancy, providing data that may inform antibiotic stewardship.

Keywords: Pregnancy; antibiotic stewardship; clinical management; high risk population; prescriptions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Asthma* / drug therapy
  • Asthma* / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Medicaid
  • Outpatients
  • Pregnancy
  • Prescriptions
  • United States / epidemiology


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents