How are antibiotics currently prescribed in Switzerland?

In human medicine today, around 80 percent of antibiotics are prescribed in the outpatient setting. The prescribing practice shows that there is still a need for improvement.  

For example, even though they may not be indicated by the clinical evidence:

• fluoroquinolones are prescribed in more than 20 percent of all urinary tract infections.
• in acute bronchitis (44 percent of prescriptions for lower respiratory tract infections), antibiotics are still always prescribed.

Share of different drug classes in antibiotic prescriptions by general practitioners for the most important indications.
Source: FOPH, Sentinella reporting system

What antibiotics were prescribed for children and adolescents in 2020 in Switzerland?

In paediatrics today, around 85 percent of antibiotics are prescribed in the outpatient setting. The prescribing practice shows that there is still potential for improvement when it comes to selecting antibiotics:

• Around 80 percent of antibiotic prescriptions for children are for respiratory tract infections. The recommended (simple) penicillins or aminopenicillins are not always used in these cases.
• Macrolides, which have a problematic profile as regards selection of resistance, are probably used too often for treating respiratory tract infections.
 

Share of different drug classes in antibiotic prescriptions in children per age group.
Relative proportion of antibiotics dispensed by age group in %.
Data source: Swiss Association of Pharmacists pharmaSuisse.

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Last modification 25.01.2022

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Federal Office of Public Health FOPH
Communicable Diseases Division
Strategies, Principles and Programmes Section
Schwarzenburgstrasse 157
3003 Bern
Switzerland
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