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Variations and determinants of antibiotic consumption in Hungarian adult intensive care units


R. Benkő, Department of Clinical Pharmacy, University of Szeged, H-6725 Szikra utca 8, Hungary. E-mail: or



The aim of this work was to study the use of systemic antibacterials and its possible determinants in Hungarian intensive care units (ICUs).


Hospital pharmacy. departments provided package level dispensing data for their corresponding ICU (2006). Data were converted into defined daily doses (DDDs) and expressed as DDD per 100 patient-days and DDD per 100 admissions. Antibiotics were ranked by volume of DDDs, and the agents responsible for 90% of total use (DU90%) were noted. To explore differences and relationships between antibiotic use and antibiotic policy elements/ICU characteristics, the analysis of variances or the Pearson correlation analysis was performed.


Valid data were obtained for 44 ICUs. Antibiotic use varied widely (from 27.9 to 167.8 DDD per 100 patient-days and from 104.7 to 1784.6 DDD per 100 admissions). In total, 11–34 different antibacterials per ICUs were used, of which, 5–15 were in the DU90% segment. The proportional use of parenteral agents ranged from 46.2 to 98.3%. The mean of overall antibiotic use was highest for penicillins with beta-lactamase inhibitors, followed by quinolones and third-generation cephalosporins. Of the studied factors, only the ICU category (i.e., level of care) showed significant association with total antibacterial use.


The striking differences in total antibiotic use and the extensive use of the oral agents in some ICUs may indicate room for improvement. As none of the antibiotic policy elements were accompanied by lower antibiotic use in the pooled analysis, it suggests that—beside the ICU category—other unrevealed factors determine antibiotic use. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.