Impact of COVID-19 on antibiotic usage in primary care: a retrospective analysis.

Publication date: Feb 27, 2024

The COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to many changes in the medical practice, including a wider access to tele-consultations. It not only influenced the type of treatment but also shed light on mistakes often made by doctors, such as the abuse of antibiotics. This study aimed to evaluate the antibiotic treatment, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on antibiotic prescribing during a GP’s visit. The retrospective medical history analysis involved data from a first-contact medical center (Pantamed, Olsztyn, Poland), from 1 January 2018 to 31 May 2023. Quantities of prescribed antibiotics were assessed and converted into the so-called active list for a given working day of adult patients (> 18 years of age). Statistical analysis based on collective data was performed. During the COVID-19 pandemic, a decline in the number of medical consultations has been observed, both remotely via tele-medicine and in personal appointments, compared to the data from before the pandemic: n = 95,251 versus n = 79,619. Also, during the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a decrease in the total amount of prescribed antibiotics relative to the data before the pandemic (2. 44 vs. 4. 54; p > 0. 001). The decrease in the quantities of prescribed antibiotics did not depend on the way doctor consultations were provided. The COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to changing the family doctors’ management of respiratory infections. The ability to identify the etiological agent-the SARS-COV2 virus-contributed to the reduction of the antibiotics use.

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Concepts Keywords
Abuse Antibiotic
Antibiotic Antibiotics
Doctors Consultations
Poland Contributed


Type Source Name
disease MESH COVID-19
disease IDO history
disease MESH respiratory infections
drug DRUGBANK Coenzyme M
disease MESH severe acute respiratory syndrome
disease MESH respiratory insufficiency
disease MESH viral infection
disease MESH complications
disease MESH infections
disease VO USA
disease IDO antibiotic resistance
disease MESH common cold
disease MESH influenza
disease VO Optaflu
disease MESH Infectious Diseases
drug DRUGBANK Water
drug DRUGBANK Timonacic
disease IDO country
disease VO monthly
drug DRUGBANK Methionine
disease MESH urinary tract infections
disease IDO site
drug DRUGBANK Amoxicillin
drug DRUGBANK Azithromycin
disease VO ANOVA
disease VO population
disease MESH emergency
disease VO time
disease VO vaccination
drug DRUGBANK Ritonavir
disease MESH bacterial infections
disease MESH death
disease MESH co infection
disease VO company
disease VO journal article
disease VO organization

Original Article

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