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Published on 28 January 2010

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C.diff-risk drug use rises by 33%


Scottish doctors have increased prescriptions of a drug said to increase the infection risk of C.diff by 30% in four years, according to a report.

An antibiotic, Ciprofloxacin, was highlighted in a Scottish Antimicrobial Prescribing Group (SAPG) report on resistance to certain types of drugs between 2004 and 2008.

SAPG considers Clostridium difficile resistance to drugs used in antimicrobial treatment to be a “major threat to public health and patient safety”, yet found that two medicines it had not recommended had a high prescription increase during the four years.

Ciprofloxacin prescription rose by nearly a third, while the use of another drug, co-amoxiclav, increased by 22%..

Overall GPs prescribed 18.3% more of the ten drug types, with the SAPG-recommended penicillin being the most common treatment, according to the report published by Health Protection Scotland.

It said: “It is accepted that the way in which antimicrobials are used, sometimes inappropriately, will increase the risk of antimicrobial resistance developing.”

About four million EU patients contract an infection from their healthcare every year, and multi-drug resistant bacteria are thought to be responsible for an estimated 18,500 deaths from such illnesses, the report said.

Copyright Press Association 2010


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