The appropriateness of oral fluoroquinolone-prescribing in the long-term care setting.

UMMS Affiliation

Meyers Primary Care Institute; Department of Medicine, Division of Geriatric Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type



Administration, Oral; Aged; Aged, 80 and over; Ciprofloxacin; Drug Costs; Drug Prescriptions; Drug Utilization Review; Female; Humans; Male; Medical Audit; Retrospective Studies; Skilled Nursing Facilities; United States


Health Services Research | Medicine and Health Sciences


OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the appropriateness of ciprofloxacin-prescribing in the long-term care setting. DESIGN: Retrospective chart review. SETTING: A large academically oriented long-term care facility. PATIENTS: Institutionalized elderly patients with a mean age of 88 years. METHODS: One hundred orders were randomly selected for review from all ciprofloxacin orders initiated over a 3-year period. Criteria for appropriateness of ciprofloxacin-prescribing were developed based on a comprehensive review of the medical literature. Evaluation of appropriateness of prescribing was based on the indication for therapy and the availability of more effective and/or less expensive alternative antibiotic regimens. Only information available to the physician at the time of the order was used to judge appropriateness. Abstracted medical records were evaluated independently by a geriatrician and an infectious diseases specialist. RESULTS: With respect to site of infection, the urinary tract accounted for 43% of all ciprofloxacin orders; the lower respiratory tract, 28%; and skin and soft-tissue infections, 17%. Only 25% of orders were judged appropriate. Twenty-three percent of orders were judged less than appropriate based on indication, and 49% due to the availability of a more effective and/or less expensive alternative antibiotic choice. There was insufficient information in the medical record to judge 3% of the orders. CONCLUSION: These results indicate less than optimal prescribing of oral fluoroquinolones in the long-term care setting, with potential consequences including the development of resistant bacterial strains and increased health care costs.


J Am Geriatr Soc. 1994 Jan;42(1):28-32.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of the American Geriatrics Society

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