Recognizing that SARS-CoV-2 is a virus, there’s no way well-informed physicians would write prescriptions for antibiotics to help patients fight COVID-19—right? Wrong. According to a Research Letter published by JAMA Network, between April 2020 and April 2021, nearly 30% of COVID-19 outpatient visits in a Medicare population resulted in a prescription for an antibiotic agent. Prescriptions were highest in the emergency room (33.9%) followed by telehealth (28.4%), urgent care (25.8%), and traditional office practices (23.9%). The most frequently prescribed medications were azithromycin (50.7%), doxycycline (13.0%), and levofloxacin (6.7%). JUCM just hosted a webinar covering current best (and guideline-driven) practices for antibiotic prescribing. You can view it now by going to the JUCM Webinars Archive. Death of the Z-Pak – Stewardship in the Face of Changes in Antibiotic Prescribing Guidelines for Common Urgent Care Conditions Worth Knowing About is the first archived webinar in the queue, at the top of the page.
Antibiotics Are No Help with Viruses. So Why Did Nearly a Third of COVID Visits End with a Prescription?