Long-Term Outcomes in Patients on Life-Long Antibiotics: A Five-Year Cohort Study

Christopher Kiss, Declan Connoley, Kathryn Connelly, Kylie Horne, Tony Korman, Ian Woolley, Jillian S.Y. Lau

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Little is known about the impacts at an individual level of long-term antibiotic consumption. We explored health outcomes of long-term antibiotic therapy prescribed to a cohort of patients to suppress infections deemed incurable. Methods: We conducted a 5-year longitudinal study of patients on long-term antibiotics at Monash Health, a metropolitan tertiary-level hospital network in Australia. Adults prescribed antibiotics for >12 months to suppress chronic infection or prevent recurrent infection were included. A retrospective review of medical records and a descriptive analysis was conducted. Results: Twenty-seven patients were followed up during the study period, from 29 patients originally identified in Monash Health in 2014. Seven of the 27 patients (26%) died from causes unrelated to the suppressed infection, six (22%) ceased long-term antibiotic therapy and two (7%) required treatment modification. Fifteen (56%) were colonised with multiresistant microor-ganisms, including vancomycin resistant Enterococci, methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus, and carbapenem resistant Enterobacteriaciae. Conclusions: This work highlights the potential pitfalls of long-term antibiotic therapy, and the frailty of this cohort, who are often ineligible for definitive curative therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number62
Number of pages8
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


  • Antibiotics
  • Antimicrobial resistance
  • Life-long
  • Multi-resistant organisms
  • Suppression

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