Introduction

This campaign provides information on antibiotics prescribing in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Choosing Wisely Canada Guidelines

  • Don’t use antibiotics for upper respiratory infections that are likely viral in origin, such as influenza-like illness, or self-limiting, such as sinus infections of less than seven days of duration.
  • Don’t collect urine specimens for culture from adults who lack symptoms localizing to the urinary tract or fever unless they are pregnant or undergoing genitourinary instrumentation where mucosal bleeding is expected.
  • Don’t prescribe antibiotics for asymptomatic bacteriuria (ASB) in non-pregnant patients.
  • Don’t prescribe antibiotics in adults with bronchitis/asthma and children with bronchiolitis.
  • Don’t use antibiotics in adults and children with uncomplicated sore throats.
  • Don’t use antibiotics in adults and children with uncomplicated otitis media.

The Problem

Newfoundland and Labrador prescribes the most antibiotics per capita than any other province.
NL: 95.5 antibiotics prescriptions per 100 inhabitants; Canada: 64 per 100 inhabitants.

Patients often seek antibiotics for viral infections. With time, the overuse of antibiotics can lead to the development of resistant bacteria.

Our Data

Let’s have a look at our antibiotics prescribing patterns over the last five years.

In the NLPDP program, during the five fiscal years of 2013-14 to 2017-18, 83% of 284,211 oral antibiotics were prescribed by family doctors.

This graph shows a 9% decrease in the number of antibiotic prescriptions by family doctor in 2017-18 compared to 2016-17.

This graph shows the number of active patients registered in the NLPDP that have had at least one prescription of any kind in the indicated periods of time.

* Rate = number of antibiotics prescription/number of active patients * 100
Please note that the average rate of antibiotic prescriptions per 100 patients active in the NLPDP is similar to the average rate per 100 inhabitants of the province.

What you can do

Consider how to reduce antibiotics prescribing in your own practice.

Choosing Wisely Canada Recommendation:

  • Look for opportunities to educate your patients on the appropriate use of antibiotics.
  • Write a post-dated prescription with clear instructions for the pharmacist not to fill until the specified date.
  • Leave a prescription at the receptionist’s desk to be picked up if symptoms persist.
  • Ask the patient to re-contact the office if symptoms persist for a specific time frame.

Check out Choosing Wisely Canada’s Antibiotics Wisely Tools and Resources

Click here to check out!