Antibiotic Prescription Rate for Upper Respiratory Tract Infections and Risks for Unnecessary Prescription in Croatia

Marija Vrca Botica, Iva Botica, Valerija Stamenić, Arjana Tambić Andrašević, Josipa Kern, Stanislava Stojanović Špehar


Overprescribing of antibiotics in primary care has been recognized as public health problem. We investigated visits prescription rate of antibiotics to patients with upper respiratory tract infections (URTI) and unnecessary prescribtion for tonsillopharyngitis, in Croatia. In prospective observational study in November 2007. 25 GPs in Croatia recorded all patients’ visits with URTI episode according ICPC-2. Clinical status of patients with tonsillopharyngitis were categorized according to Centor Criteria. 689 visits were analysed, 82% of visits were initial. Antibiotics were prescribed in 44.7% visits with URTI. There were no significant differences in antibiotic prescription rates regarding non–clinical factors. Antibiotics were prescribed to patients with tonsillopharyngitis in 62.2% visits. Unnecessary antibiotics were prescribed (Centor 1,2) in 49.6% visits with tonsillopharyngitis. Logistic regression analysis showed significant differences in unnecessary antibiotic prescription rates only with respect to the workday – Wednesday, CI (1.117–2.671), p=0.0139. Leading antibiotic was amoxicillin + clavulonic acid, second was amoxicillin, the third were macrolides, the fourth was narrow spectrum penicillin and fifth were cephalosporins. This study shows over prescription for URTI. Unnecessary prescription for tonsillopharyngitis depend on non clinical factor – day of the week. This should be futher explored and help to improved prescribe antibiotics.


antibiotics prescribing rate, unnecessary prescription, upper respiratory tract infections, general practitioners, Croatia

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