Friday, June 22, 2007

Antibiotic Noncompliance

I found this article by Jill Stein in Medical News Today! - obviously it is a little dated.

NICE, FRANCE, April 20, 2006- Only slightly more than a third of individuals polled in a recent global survey know that noncompliance with a prescription for antibiotics can lead to antibiotic resistance, according to data recently released at the 16th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID).

Researchers involved in the COMPLy (Compliance, Modalities by Population, Lifestyle and Geography) survey examined noncompliance rates and factors affecting noncompliance in 4,500 persons who were 18 years of age or older and had taken a self-administered antibiotic over the last year.

Participants, who were drawn from eleven countries, were considered noncompliant if they had omitted doses or days or if they had leftover antibiotics even though they had been told to take them until they were gone.

Overall, 22 percent of respondents said they had not complied with their last antibiotic treatment, and the noncompliance rate exceeded 30 percent in some countries, COMPly Steering Committee Chairman Jean-Claude Pechere, MD, emeritus professor of medicine at the University of Geneva in Geneva, Switzerland, said. Fifty one percent believed that leftover antibiotics could be saved and used later on, and 73 percent of those who had leftover antibiotics said they saved them.

Not surprisingly, the number of doses per day was directly correlated with noncompliance. Thus, a 15 percent noncompliance rate was noted in persons taking one dose per day versus 27 percent in persons taking three or more doses per day.

Eighty percent of those polled believed that antibiotic-resistant germs represent a serious problem but only 61 percent knew that improper antibiotic use can diminish efficacy.

Dr. Pechere said that misperceptions about appropriate antibiotic use is the main reason for noncompliance in some countries, while a lack of faith in their doctor's ability and concern about their doctor's ability to manage their illness may be a more important factor for patients in other countries.

Results also identified age as an important factor. Of respondents 18 to 29 years of age, 30 percent were noncompliant versus 14 percent of persons 60 years of age or older.

Antibiotic resistance is considered a major public health concern.

Pfizer Inc. funded the COMPLy survey.

By Jill Stein

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