Introduction: Microorganisms can evolve and become resistant to antimicrobials, and this is known as antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Inappropriate use of antibiotics contributes to AMR, and antimicrobial stewardship programs have been developed to mitigate AMR. The Appropriate Use of Carbapenems Program was implemented in March 2019 in a university hospital and its effect was evaluated.
Methods: We conducted a prospective audit and feedback on carbapenems at the time of prescription daily. Additionally, we compared a monthly survey of the total days of therapy (DOTs) per 1000 patient-days for carbapenems, piperacillin/tazobactam, and fluoroquinolones. The susceptibility of Pseudomonas aeruginosa to meropenem, piperacillin/tazobactam, and levofloxacin was tested before (January 2018 to February 2019) and after (March 2019 to December 2020) the intervention.
Results: The monthly median DOTs of carbapenem usage decreased after the intervention; carbapenem use immediately declined during the intervention period. The monthly median DOTs of piperacillin/tazobactam and fluoroquinolones also decreased and continued to decline significantly after the intervention. Susceptibility of P. aeruginosa to meropenem, piperacillin/tazobactam, and levofloxacin did not change significantly during the study.
Conclusion: The implementation of the Appropriate Use of Carbapenems Program was effective in reducing the use of broad-spectrum antibiotics and maintaining the antibiotic susceptibility of P. aeruginosa.
Keywords: Antimicrobial resistance; Antimicrobial stewardship program; Carbapenems.
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