Antibiotics are commonly overprescribed for both adults and children in the United States. A study recently published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy analyzed 238,000 ambulatory care visits between 2007-2009. During those visits 61% of antibiotic prescriptions were for broad spectrum antibiotics and only 39% were for narrow spectrum antibiotics.  The most commonly prescribed antibiotics were quinolones (25%), macrolides (20%) and aminopenicillins (12%). Antibiotics were most commonly prescribed for respiratory conditions (41%), skin/mucosal conditions (18%) and urinary tract infections (9%). More than 25% of prescriptions were for conditions which antibiotics are rarely indicated. The unnecessary prescribing of broad spectrum antibiotics is a significant contributor to emerging antibiotic resistance. What do you do as a pharmacist to monitor/reduce the number of broad spectrum antibiotics that you dispense?

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