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Although national and international guidelines have strongly discouraged use of antibiotics to treat COVID-19 patients with mild or moderate symptoms, antibiotics are frequently being used. This study aimed to determine antibiotics-prescribing practices among Bangladeshi physicians in treating COVID-19 patients. We conducted a cross-sectional survey among physicians involved in treating COVID-19 patients. During September-November 2021, data were collected from 511 respondents through an online Google Form and hardcopies of self-administered questionnaires. We used descriptive statistics and a regression model to identify the prevalence of prescribing antibiotics among physicians and associated factors influencing their decision making. Out of 511 enrolled physicians, 94.13% prescribed antibiotics to COVID-19 patients irrespective of disease severity. All physicians working in COVID-19-dedicated hospitals and 87% for those working in outpatient wards used antibiotics to treat COVID-19 patients. The majority (90%) of physicians reported that antibiotics should be given to COVID-19 patients with underlying respiratory conditions. The most prescribed antibiotics were meropenem, moxifloxacin, and azithromycin. Our study demonstrated high use of antibiotics for treatment of COVID-19 patients irrespective of disease severity and the duty ward of study physicians. Evidence-based interventions to promote judicious use of antibiotics for treating COVID-19 patients in Bangladesh may help in reducing an overuse of antibiotics.

Original publication




Journal article


Antibiotics (Basel, Switzerland)

Publication Date





International Centre for Diarrheal Disease Research (icddr,b), 68 Shaheed Tajuddin Ahmed Sarani, Mohakhali, Dhaka 1212, Bangladesh.