Clinical Edge

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ED Visits for ADEs From Antibiotics in Children

J Pediatric Infect Dis Soc; ePub 2018 Aug 23; Lovegrove, et al

Antibiotic adverse drug events (ADEs) lead to many emergency department (ED) visits among young children, while communicating the risks of antibiotic ADEs could reduce unnecessary prescribing. This according to a recent study that estimated frequencies and rates of ED visits for antibiotic ADEs in US children from 2011-2015. Among the findings:

  • On the basis of 6,542 surveillance cases, an estimated 69,464 ED visits were made annually for antibiotic ADEs among children aged ≤19 years during the study period, accounting for 46.2% of ED visits for ADEs that results from systemic medication.
  • 40.7% of ED visits for antibiotic ADEs involved a child aged ≤2 years, and 86% involved an allergic reaction.
  • Amoxicillin was the most commonly implicated antibiotic among children aged ≤9 years and had the highest rate of ED visits for antibiotic ADEs among children aged ≤2 years.
  • Sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim had the highest rate for antibiotic ADEs in children aged 10-19 years.
  • Rates of ED visits for antibiotic ADEs declined with increasing age for all antibiotics except sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim.


Lovegrove MC, Geller AI, Fleming-Dutra KE, Shehab N, Sapiano MRP, Budnitz DS. US emergency department visits for adverse drug events from antibiotics in children, 2011–2015. J Pediatric Infect Dis Soc. doi:10.1093/jpids/piy066.