Researchers note 'worrisome' trend in broad-spectrum antibiotic use

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Despite growing awareness of the development of antibiotic resistance and support for stewardship programs, the overall rate of antibiotic use in the U.S. didn't change from 2006 to 2012, and there were increases in the use of certain antibiotics, including broad-spectrum drugs, according to a report in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Researchers from the CDC used the Truven Health MarketScan Hospital Drug Database to examine adult and pediatric inpatient antibiotic use data from Jan. 1, 2006, to Dec. 31, 2012. The numbers included antibiotic use for more than 34 million discharges from roughly 300 participating hospitals.

They found 55.1 percent of patients received at least one dose of antibiotics during their hospital stay, and there was not a significant change in overall antibiotic use over time.

However, researchers did uncover a significant increase in the use of certain antibiotics, including third- and fourth-generation cephalosporins, macrolides, glycopeptides, beta-lactamase inhibitor combinations, carbapenems and tetracyclines.

"This trend is worrisome in light of the rising challenge of antibiotic resistance," the report reads. "Because inappropriate antibiotic use increases the risk of antibiotic resistance and other adverse patient outcomes, continued monitoring of antibiotic use is critical to future improvements in patient safety."

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