10 most common antibiotics administered in the ER

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Ceftriaxone and azithromycin are the top two most commonly administered antibiotics in U.S. emergency rooms for patients who are not admitted to the hospital, according to a study published in the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy.

Researchers conducted a review of health system-evel electronic data compiled from 145 U.S. emergency departments. They assessed prescribing patterns, most common infectious diseases diagnosed and most commonly administered antibiotics in the emergency room among patients who were discharged.

They examined more than 627,000 unique patient encounters and 780,000 antibiotic administrations.

The top 10 most commonly administered antibiotics in the ER for nonadmitted patients were:

• ceftriaxone: 30.6 percent
• azithromycin: 10.8 percent
• clindamycin: 6.6 percent
• levofloxacin: 5.8 percent
• cephalexin: 5.3 percent
• metronidazole: 4.5 percent
• sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim: 4.2 percent
• ciprofloxacin: 3.9 percent
• amoxicillin: 3.8 percent
• penicillin: 3.3 percent

The researchers also found that most common emergency room diagnoses were urinary tract infections and cellulitis, and that prescribing practices generally aligned with treatment guidelines for these diagnoses.

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