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Half of Repeat Antibiotics in Australia Extend Initial Rx

Last Updated: September 19, 2017.

Half of repeat antibiotic dispensings in Australia are used to extend the initial course, according to a study published online Sept. 11 in the Journal of Pharmacy Practice and Research.

TUESDAY, Sept. 19, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Half of repeat antibiotic dispensings in Australia are used to extend the initial course, according to a study published online Sept. 11 in the Journal of Pharmacy Practice and Research.

Angus Thompson, from the University of Tasmania in Australia, and colleagues retrospectively analyzed de-identified dispensing records of repeat antibiotic prescriptions from 186 Australian pharmacies.

The researchers identified 12,516 repeat dispensings for amoxicillin (41.5 percent) and cephalexin (58.5 percent). Of the repeat dispensings, 50.7 percent were collected within two days of the date on which the original supply should have been completed and 78.8 percent were collected within 30 days. Specifying a course length exceeding that provided by the initial pack was associated with a significantly shorter interval between the dispensing of original and repeat prescriptions compared with prescriptions with no reference to duration or a generic statement regarding course completion.

"While addressing the whole practice of issuing antibiotic repeats remains desirable, these findings may be relevant for prescribers and pharmacists, and help efforts to extend antimicrobial stewardship principles to the community," conclude the authors.

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