The Question

Are the seasonal fluoroquinolone usage patterns related to the timing of the influenza seasons and what proportion of use is associated with influenza activity?

What we found

A contemporaneous relationship between seasonal influenza activity and antibiotic use was determined. Specifically, respiratory fluoroquinolone increases during the same month that influenza activity increases.

Why it matters

Fluoroquinolone cannot treat viral infections. A significant proportion of the increase of antimicrobial usage during influenza season is probably unnecessary and probably contributes to antimicrobial resistance.