Pharmacology & Pharmacy

Volume 9, Issue 9 (September 2018)

ISSN Print: 2157-9423   ISSN Online: 2157-9431

Google-based Impact Factor: 0.69  Citations  h5-index & Ranking

Antibiotic Use in a Cohort of Extremely Low Birth Weight Neonates: Focus on Off-Label Uses and Prescription Behaviour

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DOI: 10.4236/pp.2018.99029    605 Downloads   876 Views  Citations


Aim: To analyse antibiotic prescriptions in a cohort of extremely low birth weight neonates admitted to Italian level III Neonatal intensive Care Units. Methods: An online questionnaire was used to collect detailed information for each newborn. Antibiotic prescriptions were classified about their license status and compared with British National Formulary for Children (BNFC) and with a practical guide prepared by the Italian Society of Neonatology (ISN). Results: During the study period (May-July 2014) among 93 neonates admitted to 30 Italian Neonatal intensive Care Units, 56 (60%) received at least an antibiotic (92 prescriptions in total). Ampicillin, gentamicin and vancomycin were the antibiotics most commonly used for the prevention/treatment of bacterial infections. 56/92 antibiotic prescriptions (61%) resulted off-label mainly as regards dosing frequency, while 13 prescriptions (14%) regarded antibiotics used in absence of specific indication for newborns (meropenem, imipenem, piperacillin/tazobactam, clindamycin, clarithromycin). 50/56 neonates (89.3%) received at least one off-label antibiotic prescription. Differences have been observed in dosing regimens between current study and recommendations contained in BNFC, while prescriptions adhered more frequently to ISN indications. Conclusions: Our results confirm the high prevalence of off-label antibiotic use in ELBW neonates and underline a better adherence to indications based on clinical practice.

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Cuzzolin, L. and Agostino, R. (2018) Antibiotic Use in a Cohort of Extremely Low Birth Weight Neonates: Focus on Off-Label Uses and Prescription Behaviour. Pharmacology & Pharmacy, 9, 382-394. doi: 10.4236/pp.2018.99029.

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