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Outpatient Antibiotic Prescriptions — United States, 2011

Healthcare providers prescribed 273.3 million antibiotic prescriptions—equivalent to 877 antibiotic prescriptions per 1000 persons.

Print only version: Outpatient Antibiotic Prescriptions — United States, 2011 [PDF – 684 KB]

Citation: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Outpatient antibiotic prescriptions — United States, 2011.

Table 1. Oral antibiotic prescriptions by age and sex—United States, 2011.

Age group NUMBER OF ANTIBIOTIC PRESCRIPTIONS (MILLIONS) ANTIBIOTIC PRESCRIPTIONS PER 1,000 PERSONS, RATE
<20 yearsa 75.2 908
≥20 yearsa 191.9 838
Sex NUMBER OF ANTIBIOTIC PRESCRIPTIONS (MILLIONS)> ANTIBIOTIC PRESCRIPTIONS PER 1,000 PERSONS, RATE
Femalea 164.2 1,036
Malea 106.5 695
Region NUMBER OF ANTIBIOTIC PRESCRIPTIONS (MILLIONS)> ANTIBIOTIC PRESCRIPTIONS PER 1,000 PERSONS, RATE
Northeast 49.6 892
Midwest 63.4 944
South 111.4 960
West 48.9 671

aTotals may not add to all oral prescriptions (273.3 million) due to missing data


Table 2. Top oral antibiotic classes and agents prescribed—United States, 2011.

ANTIBIOTIC CLASS NUMBER OF ANTIBIOTIC PRESCRIPTIONS (MILLIONS) ANTIBIOTIC PRESCRIPTIONS (MILLIONS) PER 1,000 PERSONS, RATE
Penicillins 61.6 196
Macrolides 59.2 190
Cephalosporins 36.6 117
Fluoroquinolones 31.6 101
Beta-lactams, increased activity 22.1 79
ANTIBIOTIC AGENT NUMBER OF ANTIBIOTIC PRESCRIPTIONS (MILLIONS) ANTIBIOTIC PRESCRIPTIONS (MILLIONS) PER 1,000 PERSONS, RATE
Amoxicillin 54.3 174
Azithromycin 52.9 170
Amoxicillin/clavulanic acid 22.1 71
Cephalexin 21.0 67
Ciprofloxacin 20.4 66

Table 3. Oral antibiotic prescribing by provider specialty — United States, 2011

PROVIDER SPECIALTY NUMBER OF ANTIBIOTIC PRESCRIPTIONS (MILLIONS) ANTIBIOTIC PRESCRIPTIONS PER PROVIDER, RATE
Primary Care Physicians 110.8 466
Physician Assistants and Nurse Practitioners 62.9 363
Surgical Specialties 19.5 219
Dentistry 25.1 205
Emergency Medicine 14.8 457
Dermatology 7.1 628
Obstetrics/Gynecology 6.3 167
Other 22.9 110
All Providers 269.4 295

Data Sources:

Systemic oral antibiotics were extracted from the IMS Health Xponent database. IMS Health captures >70% of outpatient prescriptions nationally, reconciles them to wholesale deliveries, and projects to 100% coverage. These data represent all outpatient antibiotic prescriptions from community pharmacies and non-governmental mail order pharmacies from all payers, but exclude federal facilities. Provider specialties are taken from the American Medical Association (AMA) self-designated practice specialties and categorized into one of 17 groups. Population data were obtained from the U.S. Census bridging files.

References

  1. Hicks, L.A., et al., US Outpatient Antibiotic Prescribing Variation According to Geography, Patient Population,and Provider Specialty in 2011. Clin Infect Dis, 2015. 60(9): p. 1308-16.
  2. IMS. The Uniform System of Classification (USC). [cited2015 September 22]

Figure 1. Antibiotic prescriptions per 1000 persons by state (sextiles) for all ages — United States, 2011.

Antibiotic prescriptions per 1000 persons by state (sextiles) for all ages US 2011 Wa,Or,Ca, Co, NM, Vt =588 - 715  |  Mt,Id,Wy,Nv, Mn, Wi, Me, NH, Fl = 724 - 779  | Ut, Az, Ma, Ri, Ct, GA = 812 - 882 | Tx, Ok, SD, Ia, Il, NY, NJ = 908 - 941 | Oh, Mi, Mo, Ks, Ne , ND = 963 - 1,024 | La, Ms, Al, Tn, Ky, WV, In = 1,032 - 1,355


This project was made possible through a partnership with the CDC Foundation. Support for this project was provided by The Pew Charitable Trusts.

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