Antibiotics for gastroenteritis in general practice and out-of-hour services in Norway 2006–15
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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OriginalversjonFamily Practice. 2022, 39 (1), 19-25. 10.1093/fampra/cmab080
Background: When patients with gastroenteritis (GE) seek health care, they are generally managed in primary care. Little is known about the use of antibiotic treatment in these cases. Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate time trends and patient characteristics associated with antibiotic treatment for GE in Norwegian primary care in a 10-year period. Methods: We linked data from two nationwide registries, reimbursement claims data from Norwegian primary care (the KUHR database) and The Norwegian Prescription Database, for the period 2006–15. GE consultations were extracted, and courses of systemic antibiotics dispensed within 1 day were included for further analyses. Results: Antibiotic treatment was linked to 1.8% (n = 23 663) of the 1 279 867 consultations for GE in Norwegian primary care in the period 2006–15. The proportion of GE consultations with antibiotic treatment increased from 1.4% in 2006 to 2.2% in 2012 and then decreased to 1.8% in 2015. Fluoroquinolones (28.9%) and metronidazole (26.8%) were most frequently used. Whereas the number of fluoroquinolones courses decreased after 2012, the number of metronidazole courses continued to increase until year 2015. The antibiotic treatment proportion of GE consultations was lowest in young children and increased with increasing age. Conclusion: Antibiotic treatment is infrequently used in GE consultations in Norwegian primary care. Although there was an overall increase in use during the study period, we observed a reduction in overall use after year 2012. Young children were treated with antibiotics in GE consultations less frequent than older patients.