Many ED Visits for Antibiotic Adverse Drug Events in Children

Antibiotic ADEs among children account for 46.2% of ED visits for ADEs tied to systemic meds.
Antibiotic ADEs among children account for 46.2% of ED visits for ADEs tied to systemic meds.

HealthDay News — Emergency department (ED) visits for antibiotic adverse drug events (ADEs) in children account for 46.2% of emergency department visits for ADEs resulting from systemic medication, according to a study published online August 23 in the Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society.

Maribeth C. Lovegrove, MPH, from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues used adverse event data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System and retail pharmacy dispensing data from QuintilesIMS to estimate the frequencies and rates of emergency department visits for antibiotic ADEs in children for 2011 to 2015. 

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Based on 6542 surveillance cases, the researchers estimated that 69,464 emergency department visits were made annually for antibiotic ADEs among children aged 19 years or younger from 2011 to 2015, which accounted for 46.2% of emergency department visits for ADEs resulting from systemic medication. Overall, 40.7% of emergency department visits for antibiotic ADEs involved a child aged ≤2 years; an allergic reaction was involved in 86.1%. Among children aged ≤9 years, the most commonly implicated antibiotic was amoxicillin. For all antibiotics except sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim, the rates of emergency department visits declined with increasing age. Among children aged ≤2 years, amoxicillin had the highest rate of emergency department visits for antibiotic ADEs; among children aged 10 to 19 years, sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim had the highest rate (29.9 and 24.2 emergency department visits per 10,000 dispensed prescriptions, respectively).

"Antibiotic ADEs lead to many emergency department visits, particularly among young children," the authors write.

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