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The Inappropriate Use of Antibiotics

An estimated 20-50% of all antibiotics prescribed in U.S. acute care hospitals and 40-70% in long term nursing facilities are either unnecessary or inappropriate. Like all medications, antibiotics have serious side effects, including adverse drug reactions and risk of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI). This not only leads to excessive costs of care but also adds to the burden of disease and leads to antibiotic resistance. A growing body of evidence demonstrates that healthcare facility based programs dedicated to improving antibiotic use, commonly referred to as “Antibiotic Stewardship Programs (ASPs)”, can both optimize the treatment of infections and reduce adverse events associated with antibiotic use.

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