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Outpatient Antibiotic Prescriptions — United States, 2012

Healthcare providers prescribed 272.3 million antibiotic prescriptions—equivalent to 867 antibiotic prescriptions per 1000 persons.

Print only version: Outpatient Antibiotic Prescriptions — United States, 2012 [PDF – 606 KB]

Citation: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Outpatient antibiotic prescriptions — United States, 2012.

Table 1. Oral antibiotic prescriptions by age and sex—United States, 2012.

Age group NUMBER OF ANTIBIOTIC PRESCRIPTIONS (MILLIONS) ANTIBIOTIC PRESCRIPTIONS PER 1,000 PERSONS, RATE
<20 yearsa 70.8 858
≥20 yearsa 191.9 851
Sex NUMBER OF ANTIBIOTIC PRESCRIPTIONS (MILLIONS)> ANTIBIOTIC PRESCRIPTIONS PER 1,000 PERSONS, RATE
Femalea 164.7 1,032
Malea 106.5 689
Region NUMBER OF ANTIBIOTIC PRESCRIPTIONS (MILLIONS)> ANTIBIOTIC PRESCRIPTIONS PER 1,000 PERSONS, RATE
Northeasta 49.5 886
Midwesta 61.3 910
Southa 114.4 975
Westa 47.1 640

aTotals may not add to all oral prescriptions (272.3 million) due to missing data


Table 2. Top oral antibiotic classes and agents prescribed—United States, 2012.

ANTIBIOTIC CLASS NUMBER OF ANTIBIOTIC PRESCRIPTIONS (MILLIONS) ANTIBIOTIC PRESCRIPTIONS (MILLIONS) PER 1,000 PERSONS, RATE
Penicillins 59.6 190
Macrolides 57.1 182
Cephalosporins 36.2 115
Quinolones 32.7 104
Beta-lactams, increased activity 21.8 69
Tetracycline 21.8 69
ANTIBIOTIC AGENT NUMBER OF ANTIBIOTIC PRESCRIPTIONS (MILLIONS) ANTIBIOTIC PRESCRIPTIONS (MILLIONS) PER 1,000 PERSONS, RATE
Azithromycin 53.0 169
Amoxicillin 51.9 165
Amoxicillin/clavulanic acid 21.8 69
Ciprofloxacin 21.4 68
Trimethoprimsulfamethoxazole 20.9 67

Table 3. Oral antibiotic prescribing by provider specialty — United States, 2012

PROVIDER SPECIALTY NUMBER OF ANTIBIOTIC PRESCRIPTIONS (MILLIONS) ANTIBIOTIC PRESCRIPTIONS PER PROVIDER, RATE
Primary Care Physicians 129.0 543
Physician Assistants and Nurse Practitioners 43.2 249
Dentistry 23.4 191
Surgical Specialties 20.5 230
Emergency Medicine 15.0 462
Dermatology 8.1 719
Obstetrics/Gynecology 7.0 18
Other 26.0 125
All Providers 272.3 299

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, 2012.

Antibiotic prescriptions per 1000 persons by state (sextiles) for all ages US 2012 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 = 1,049 - 1,338


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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