The 4 most commonly administered antibiotics

Nearly half of hospital patients are given at least one antibiotic during their hospital stay, many of whom are treated with the same broad-spectrum drugs, according to a report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

While antibiotics are an effective means of treating illness, misuse by lack of indication, incorrect dose selection or treatment duration commonly occur in U.S. acute care hospitals and can lead to the acquisition of antibiotic-resistant pathogens, according to the report.

Researchers conducted a survey to understand the patterns of antibiotic use in hospitals, where antibiotic-resistant infections most commonly occur. In 2011, one-day prevalence surveys were conducted between May and September in 183 hospitals and 11,282 patients and revealed which antibiotics are most often used to treat infections.

Among the patients included in the survey, 49.9 percent were on at least one antimicrobial drug. Out of 7,641 drugs administered to treat infections, four antibiotics were administered significantly more frequently than the others. These include:

  • Parenteral vancomycin (14.4 percent)
  • Ceftriaxone (10.8 percent)
  • Piperacillin-tazobactam (10.3 percent)
  • Levofloxacin (9.1 percent)

The researchers noted the generalizablity of their results could be limited since the surveys were conducted in a limited number of states.


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