Publication date: Sep 17, 2023
Global rise in antibiotics utilization has been strongly associated with the resistance of bacteria to antibiotics. The COVID-19 saw an increase in the use of antibiotics in some countries. The aim of this study was to evaluate antibiotics utilization from 2006 to 2021 in the Republic of Serbia. Data on antibiotic use were retrieved from the national annual reports on the official website of the Medicines and Medical Devices Agency of Serbia (ALIMS) during the period 2006-2021. To evaluate trends in the use of antibiotics in Serbia, linear and joint regression analyzes were performed. The analysis of the antibiotics use over a sixteen-year period included a total of 50 antibiotics. A significant increase during the COVID-19 pandemic was observed for glycylcyclines i. e. new generation tetracyclines (tigecycline), third generation cephalosporins (ceftazidime, ceftriaxone, and cefixime), respiratory fluoroquinolones (levofloxacin and moxifloxacin), carbapenems (ertapenem) and oxazolidinones (linezolid) utilization. Moreover, an almost negligible use of new β-lactam/β-lactamase inhibitors during the pre-pandemic period increased significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic period. A significant increasing trend in the use of specific antibiotics classified as the “Watch” and “Reserve” antibiotics during the pandemic period was observed.