Utilization of Antibiotics in Long-Term Care Facilities in British Columbia, Canada

Fawziah Marra, Mark McCabe, Prateek Sharma, Bin Zhao, Christopher Mill, Victor Leung, Mei Chong, David M. Patrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background Antibiotic use is highly prevalent in long-term care facilities (LTCFs); a resident's annual exposure to at least 1 course of antibiotic is approximately 50% to 80%. The objective of this study was to understand the extent of antibiotic use in the population of residents in British Columbia's (BC) LTCFs from 2007 to 2014. Methods Antibiotic prescription data for LTCF residents was extracted from the central prescription database and linked to the physician billing plan to obtain antibiotic indication. Total defined daily dose (DDD) per 1000 residents per day was calculated. Results Our database had 381 LTCFs with an average of nearly 24,694 residents annually and 419,036 antibiotic prescriptions. Antibiotic utilization did not change dramatically between 2007 and 2014, ranging from 39.2 in 2007 to 35.2 DDD per 1000 residents per day in 2014. Although usage of most antibiotics declined, use of moxifloxacin, amoxicillin-clavulanate, doxycycline, and amoxicillin increased significantly. The indication most frequently linked to prescription was urinary tract infection (6.58 DDD per 1000 residents per day), with nitrofurantoin, ciprofloxacin, and trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole being the most commonly prescribed agents. This was followed closely by prescriptions for respiratory infections (5.34 DDD per 1000 residents per day), with moxifloxacin being the most commonly prescribed antibiotic, primarily for upper respiratory tract infection (URTI), whereas doxycycline is used commonly for lower respiratory tract infection. Duration of antibiotic therapy in LTCF residents has decreased significantly from 9.29 days to 7.3 days per prescription in 2014. Conclusion Antibiotic use in LTCFs is high relative to the general population. Our study underscores that stewardship in LTCFs should continue to focus on length of treatment, appropriate detection of urinary tract infections, and avoidance of treating URTIs with antibiotics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1098.e1-1098.e11
JournalJournal of the American Medical Directors Association
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Antibiotics
  • antimicrobial stewardship
  • long-term care
  • residential

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing
  • Health Policy
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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