One hundred eighteen pharmacists enrolled in the Drug Surveillance Network completed a survey of antibiotic prescribing patterns for bacterial infections. A total of 319 hospitalized patients being treated for suspected or documented bacterial pneumonia were monitored, and this paper summarizes the data collected on this specific subpopulation. Two hundred three patients (64 percent) were treated for community-acquired pneumonia and 116 patients (36 percent) were treated for nosocomial pneumonia. Seventy-three percent of the nosocomial pneumonias were culture-positive, with a gram-negative microorganism as the predominant isolate. Forty-eight percent of the community-acquired pneumonias were culture-positive with a mixture of gram-positive and gram-negative organisms. Fifty percent of patients were treated with a single agent, 33 percent with two antibiotics, and the remaining 17 percent with a combination of three or more antibiotics. A satisfactory response was noted for 62 and 76 percent of the patients with nosocomial and community-acquired pneumonias, respectively. Twenty percent of the pneumonia patients were switched to oral drug after an average of five days of therapy and discharged from the hospital. Twenty-five adverse events that were possibly or probably related to the antibiotic regimen were reported in 23 of the 350 patients for an overall incidence of 6.5 percent. The results of this survey provide a cross-sectional view of antibiotic prescribing patterns for the treatment of bacterial pneumonia and the outcome of therapy under actual clinical conditions of use.
By Thaddeus H. Grasela, Schentag JJ, Boekenoogen SJ, Crist KD, Lowes WL, Lum BL