Changes in Fluoroquinolone Use for Gonorrhea Following Publication of Revised Treatment Guidelines

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We evaluated the impact of revised national treatment recommendations on fluoroquinolone use for gonorrhea in selected states.


We evaluated gonorrhea cases reported through the Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance Network as treated between July 1, 2006 and May 31, 2008, using interrupted time series analysis. Outcomes were fluoroquinolone treatment overall, by area, and by practice setting.


Of 16 126 cases with treatment dates in this period, 15 669 noted the medication used. After revised recommendations were released, fluoroquinolone use decreased abruptly overall (21.5%; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 15.9%, 27.2%), in most geographic areas evaluated, and in sexually transmitted disease clinics (28.5%; 95% CI = 19.0%, 37.9%). More gradual decreases were seen in primary care (8.6%; 95% CI = 2.6%, 14.6%), and in emergency departments, urgent care, and hospitals (2.7%; 95% CI = 1.7%, 3.7%).


Fluoroquinolone use decreased after the publication of revised national guidelines, particularly in sexually transmitted disease clinics. Additional mechanisms are needed to increase the speed and magnitude of changes in prescribing in primary care, emergency departments, urgent care, and hospitals.

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