Prescription Pattern for Antimicrobials and the Potential Predictors for Antibiotics among Patients with COVID-19: A Retrospective Observational Study
Dr. Chaitali Ashish Chindhalore,
503, Yashwantapt, Golden Park, Manewada Besa Road, Nagpur, Maharashtra, India.
Introduction: Long-term repercussions of Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) on antimicrobial resistance have been raised as a grave concern due to the rampant use of antibiotics in the management of COVID-19. As per meta-analysis, the prevalence of antibiotic prescribing was 74.6% which was significantly higher than the estimated prevalence of bacterial co-infection. World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended that antibiotic therapy should not be used in patients with mild/moderate COVID-19 unless there is any bacterial suspicion. Also, the guidelines laid down by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, does not recommend systematic empiric antibiotic therapy in patients hospitalised with COVID-19. Despite not being recommended, antimicrobials are still given in clinical practice.
Aim: To analyse prescriptions for antimicrobials and to identify potential predictors for antibiotic prescription.
Materials and Methods: A retrospective observational study was conducted at a tertiary care teaching institute. Data (demographic profile, co-morbidities, disease category, prescribed antimicrobials, laboratory investigations, and duration of hospital stay) were collected from case files of patients with laboratory-confirmed Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Corona Virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. These patients were admitted in the institute from January 2021 to May 2021. Logistic regression was used to analyse factors associated with the empirical use of antimicrobial agents.
Results: A total of 184 case files were analysed. The mean age of patients was 55.84±15.72 years, with a male preponderance (70.10%). Among antimicrobials, antivirals were prescribed in 159 (86.41%) patients, and antibiotics in 152 patients (82.6%). Antivirals prescribed include Remdesivir [109(68.55%)] and Favipiravir [70(44.02%)]. Ceftriaxone was found to be the highest prescribed antibiotic, with a median duration of administration of six days. An association was found between disease severity and CRP level with antibiotic prescription. On multivariable analysis, the odds of receiving antibiotics were 6.7 times higher in patients with severe disease.
Conclusion: More than 80% of COVID-19 patients received antibiotics. Duration of hospital stay was similar among patients whether they received antibiotics or not. Disease severity and raised CRP level were strong predictors for prescribing antibiotics for COVID-19.