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May 9, 1977

Prescribing of Tetracycline to Children Less Than 8 Years Old: A Two-Year Epidemiologic Study Among Ambulatory Tennessee Medicaid Recipients

JAMA. 1977;237(19):2069-2074. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03270460055020

The Committee on Drugs of the American Academy of Pediatrics finds virtually no indications for administering tetracyclines to children less than 8 years old. This study analyzes tetracycline prescribing to ambulatory children less than 8 years of age in the Tennessee Medicaid program during a two-year period. Of the nearly 59,000 children in the study, 4,026 (7%) received 7,046 tetracycline prescriptions. Twenty-seven percent (527) of 1,947 participating physicians prescribed tetracycline; 26 physicians (5%) wrote 54% of the prescriptions for 45% of the children. Physicians in family practice prescribed the greatest quantity of tetracycline. Surgeons and internists prescribed more tetracycline to young children than did pediatricians. Rural location of practice was independently associated with increased tetracycline prescribing for all specialties. Recent graduates from medical school were less apt to prescribe tetracycline than were earlier graduates.

(JAMA 237:2069-2074, 1977)