Between March and May 2021, a total of 8958 inpatients were enumerated; 4745 inpatients received antibiotics on the day of the survey and there were 6619 prescriptions of antibiotics. The prevalence of antibiotic use was 53.0% (95% CI 51.1%–54.0%), ranging from 14.3% to 73.4%. The antibiotic use was highest among adults aged >65 years (57.1%; 95% CI 55.3%–58.9%). From 6619 antibiotics prescribed, 68.6% were used to treat infection, 26.7% for prophylaxis and 4.7% for other or unknown indications. Overall, the top three commonly used antibiotics were third-generation cephalosporins (1993; 30.1%), followed by first-generation cephalosporins (737; 11.1%) and carbapenems (703; 10.6%). The most frequently used antibiotics for community-acquired infections were third-generation cephalosporins (36.8%), followed by β-lactam/β-lactamase inhibitors (11.8%) and carbapenems (11.3%) whereas for the patients with hospital-acquired infections, the most common antibiotics used were carbapenems (32.7%), followed by β-lactam/β-lactamase inhibitors (15.7%), third-generation cephalosporins (11.7%) and colistin (11.7%). The first-generation cephalosporins were the most commonly used antibiotics (37.7%) for surgical prophylaxis. Seventy percent of the patients received surgical prophylaxis for more than 1 day post surgery.
The prevalence of antibiotic use among hospitalized patients in Thailand is high and one-quarter of these antibiotics were used for prophylaxis. The majority of surgical prophylaxis was inappropriately used for a long duration post operation. Therefore, it is recommended that local guidelines should be developed and implemented.