Outpatient Fluoroquinolone Use in Children, 2000-2018.

Year of Publication


Date Published

2020 Dec 30

ISSN Number



<p><strong>BACKGROUND: </strong>While fluoroquinolones are commonly used in adults, the use in children has been low. Since 2000, there were 3 US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Boxed warnings regarding fluoroquinolones (2008, 2013, and 2016). Our objective was to describe the use of fluoroquinolones in children and assess the impact of 3 recent FDA warnings on fluoroquinolone use.</p>

<p><strong>METHODS: </strong>From 2000 to 2018, we assessed claims for all outpatient prescription fills to measure the use of systemic fluoroquinolones and other broad-spectrum antibiotics in children  less than 18 years old in the MarketScan Commercial Claims and Encounters database. We describe demographics, indication for antibiotic, and clinical characteristics. To assess the impact of FDA warnings on fill rates, we conducted an interrupted time-series analysis.</p>

<p><strong>RESULTS: </strong>The cohort included 34.6 million unique beneficiaries less than 18 years old with 441 062 fluoroquinolone fills (5.5 fills per 1000 person-years). The fluoroquinolone fill rate was highest among children &gt; 11 years old. Urinary tract infection was the most common associated diagnosis (21.8%). Since 2008, the fluoroquinolone fill rate has declined. By the end of the study period in December 2018, in the (counterfactual) absence of the FDA warnings, fluoroquinolone fill rate would have been 7.5 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 5.2-9.7); however, the corresponding rate in observed data was 2.8 (95% CI: 1.7-3.9).</p>

<p><strong>CONCLUSIONS: </strong>Fluoroquinolone use was low compared with other common broad-spectrum antibiotics and declining trends over time were associated with FDA warnings, even though these warnings were not pediatric specific. Future work should assess the adverse events at issue in these warnings in children.</p>



Alternate Title

J Pediatric Infect Dis Soc




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