Study on antibiotic use among geriatric patients based on anatomical therapeutic classification or defined daily dose methodology and world health organization-essential medicine list access, watch and reserve concept in tertiary care hospital of South India

Subash Senthilkumar, Arun Raaj S. A., Padmavathi K., Dhanapal C. K., Periasamy K.


Background: Geriatric patients are more vulnerable to infections and need special consideration on antibiotic use. Resistance to antibiotics among infectious bacteria has developed within a short span. There is a direct correlation between the consumption of antibiotics and the development of resistance. And surprisingly very few literatures were available on antibiotic consumption in geriatric population using defined daily dose (DDD) concept which paved the idea to conduct this study.

Methods: A prospective observational study was carried out from November 2018 to April 2019. A total of 206 prescriptions of elderly patients were included in the study. The antibiotics were categorized by anatomical therapeutic classification (ATC) and DDD indicator/1000 inhabitants/day (DID) was used to figure out antibiotic consumption.

Results: About 25.2% of patients were treated with antibiotics for respiratory tract infections. The patients received antibiotics empirically (53.8%) and without bacteriological investigation (58.73%). The overall consumption of antibiotics was 20.47 DID in which oral antibiotics was (8.5 DID) 42% and parenteral antibiotics (11.8 DID) 58%. Cephalosporins was observed to be the most consumed antibiotics (33.2%), specifically cefotaxime (14.6%) and ceftriaxone (12.6%). Moreover, 54.4% of antibiotics consumed from watch category of World Health Organisation (WHO) essential medicines list (EML) which was completely against WHO standard proportion.

Conclusions: Higher consumption of cephalosporins, which falls into watch category was analysed in geriatric patients. These broad-spectrum antibiotics have high potential to develop antimicrobial resistance. A strict antibiotic policy is needed to be framed that enhance rational prescribing practices in geriatrics.


Essential medicine list, Antibiotic use, Defined daily dose, Geriatric, World health organization

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