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Revista de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1518-8787Print version ISSN 0034-8910


BERQUO, Laura S; BARROS, Aluísio J D; LIMA, Rosângela C  and  BERTOLDI, Andréa D. Use of antimicrobial drugs in an urban population. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2004, vol.38, n.2, pp.239-246. ISSN 1518-8787.

OBJECTIVE: The emergence of multiresistant microorganisms has been a concerning matter worldwide in the last decades. Indiscriminate use of antibiotics has been associated to this phenomenon. The present study was designed to determine the pattern of antimicrobial drug use in an urban community. METHODS: A population-based cross-sectional study was carried out and 6,145 subjects of all ages living in the urban area of Pelotas, Brazil, were interviewed on the use of antimicrobial drugs in the 30 days previous to the interview. RESULTS: The overall prevalence of antimicrobial drug use was 8%. It was higher for children under 4 years of age (14%; p<0.001), women (9%; p=0.004) and divorced subjects (10%; p=0.02). The clinical conditions most frequently associated with antimicrobial drug use were respiratory tract infections (50%), urinary tract infections (16%), and dental infections (9%). Penicillins (41%), sulphas (17%), and tetracycline (8%) were the most commonly used drugs. CONCLUSIONS: Abuse of last generation antimicrobial drugs, a concern of many experts, was not confirmed in this study. Antimicrobial drug use could be further reduced as respiratory illnesses, most frequently associated with their use, are often viral and many patients will not benefit from antimicrobial therapy.

Keywords : Drug utilization [statistics numerical data]; Pharmacoepidemiology; Cross-sectional studies; Prevalence; Antimicrobial use.

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