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Revista Portuguesa de Saúde Pública

Print version ISSN 0870-9025


RAMALHINHO, Isabel et al. Patterns of prescription of antibiotics in the Algarve: patient characteristics and spread of treatment. Rev. Port. Sau. Pub. [online]. 2015, vol.33, n.2, pp.207-221. ISSN 0870-9025.

The appearance of multi‐resistant micro‐organisms, whether in humans or animals, suggests an urgent need to intervene in the patterns of use of antibiotics. Knowledge of patterns of prescription is indispensable to support the review of clinical practices and teaching in order to promote rational prescription of antibiotics. Objective: Characterisation of the profile of prescription of antibiotics for systemic use in General and Family Practitioners' consultations in the region of the Algarve. Material and methods: This is a cross‐sectionally designed study of indicative prescription. 70 General and Family Practitioners were selected from a total of 280 doctors working at Health Centres in the Algarve, of whom 60 accepted the invitation to participate. The patients were included in the study in a consecutive way up to the patient quota (20 patients per doctor), whenever it was necessary to prescribe an antibiotic for systemic use during a routine or basic emergency consultation Results: Approximately 80% of the doctors selected sent at least a record of antibiotic prescription, of whom 41.5% were 55 years old or more and 52% were female. A sample of 925 patients was analysed, of whom 534 (59.6%) were female. It was noted that in all age groups, penicillin was the most prescribed antibiotic, reaching a level of nearly 70% in the 0‐14 age group. Although this was also the type of antibiotic most prescribed in older patients, it was only prescribed to about 40% of the sample. Macrolides were also often prescribed in all age groups. With regard to prescription in relation to gender, it was noted that penicillin was the most prescribed antibiotic, both for males and females. For prescriptions given to males, macrolides were in second place, followed by quinolones and cefalosporines, while for females it was quinolones, followed by macrolides and cefalosporines. Skin infections were the infections which occurred least often, when we analysed DU50 and DU90 simultaneously. Conclusions: The pattern of antibiotic prescription is similar to that described in other studies. However, we noted the high level of prescription of quinolones and 3 Rd generation cefalospirines and the low level of use of penicillins sensitive to beta lactamases, nitrofurantoin and fosfomycin trometol. Skin infections were the infections which occurred least often, when we analysed DU50 and DU90 simultaneously.

Keywords : Algarve; Antibiotics; Spread of treatment; Patterns of prescription.

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