2019 Volume 72 Issue 3 Pages 149-159
In Japan, 92.6% of antibiotics consumed are oral agents; most of these are for outpatients. A significant proportion is known to be dispensed for children; however, the specific pattern of antibiotic prescription in accordance with clinical specialty is still unclear. The aim of our study was to identify the key targets for the optimization of oral antibiotic use in children. We analyzed data on oral antimicrobial prescription patterns for children ＜ 16 years old of age in 3 urban districts by using a national database in Japan. Oral prescriptions were categorized according to their class, spectrum, clinical specialty, and type of clinical setting. The antibiotic spectrum was categorized as narrow, broad, or ultra-broad. In total, 132,869,332 antibiotic prescriptions were collected for analysis. The proportions of narrow-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and ultra-broad-spectrum antibiotics were 10.9%, 73.7%, and 15.4% in primary care clinics and 23.4%, 71.1%, and 5.4% in hospitals, respectively. Prescriptions from pediatricians and otolaryngologists in primary care clinics were predominant in the 3 studied areas. Third-generation cephalosporins, quinolones, penems, and carbapenems were prescribed mostly by pediatricians and otolaryngologists. Ultra-broad spectrum antibiotics used in primary care clinics and antibiotics particular to each specialty were identified as key targets for the optimization of oral antibiotic use for pediatric outpatients.