Vancomycin and teicoplanin use in Victorian hospitals

Marion B. Robertson, J. G A Dartnell, Tony M. Korman

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Objective: To determine patterns of prescribing of glycopeptide antibiotics (vancomycin and teicoplanin) in Victorian hospitals and identify areas for targeted intervention. Design: A concurrent, observational, multisite evaluation of drug use. Setting: Thirty-five Victorian hospitals, 1-14 September 1997. Study population: Patients commencing a glycopeptide antibiotic course. Main outcome measures: Rate of glycopeptide antibiotic use; indications; duration of use; main hospitals using glycopeptide antibiotics. Results: 293 patients (269 adults and 24 neonates) commenced on 302 glycopeptide antibiotic courses: 296 intravenous (IV) vancomycin courses and three each of oral vancomycin and parenteral teicoplanin. The overall rate of use was 10.3 courses per 1000 inpatient separations. Of 271 IV vancomycin courses for adults, 176 (65%) were for treatment - 120 empirically. The median duration of treatment courses was 4.7 days (interquartile range, 2.0-8.2 days). A flucloxacillin-resistant organism was confirmed for 44% of treatment courses. Ninety-five IV vancomycin courses were for prophylaxis, including for cardiac (54%) and vascular surgery (21%); 82% of prophylactic courses were administered for less than 24 hours. Of all the glycopeptide antibiotic courses, 69% were administered at five major metropolitan hospitals. Conclusions: Glycopeptide antibiotic use in Victoria is concentrated in the major metropolitan hospitals. Prolonged durations of vancomycin therapy, including for surgical prophylaxis and empirical therapy not subsequently confirmed by microbiology findings, would be suitable targets for interventional strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-131
Number of pages5
JournalThe Medical Journal of Australia
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2 Aug 1999
Externally publishedYes

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