Use of antibiotics in COVID-19 ICU patients


  • Lirim Mustafa Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Dental Medicine, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia
  • Ilir Tolaj Department of Infectious Diseases, Faculty of Medicine, University of Pristina, Pristina, Kosovo
  • Nehat Baftiu Department of Anesthesiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Pristina, Pristina, Kosovo
  • Hajrullah Fejza University for Busines and Technology, Pristina, Kosovo



COVID-19, antibiotics, ICU cases


Introduction: The role of antibiotics in the treatment in COVID-19 cases has not yet been adequately defined, and no criteria have been established for antibiotic treatment, type and duration.

Methodology: This paper reports the results of an observational study on the extent of antibiotic use in 52 randomly selected patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) at the University Hospital in Pristina, Kosovo with severe forms of COVID-19.

Results: Antibiotics were prescribed in all the cases (52; 100%). Of the 52 patients, 1) 13 (25%) were given antibiotics before hospitalisation, 2) 49 (94.2%) during treatment in the ward and 3) 52 (100%) during treatment in the ICU. Most often, empirical antibiotics were administered in 32 cases (61.5%) to treat methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections, and in 23 patients (44.2%) to treat atypical pathogens. The most prescribed antibiotics were ceftriaxone/cefotaxime plus macrolide in (17 cases; 32.7%), ceftriaxone/cefotaxime in (15 cases; 28.8%), ampicillin/amoxicillin plus clavulanic acid or sulbactam (five cases; 9.6%), and quinolones (five cases; 9.6%). Imipenem was the most frequently used antibiotic in the ICU (30 cases; 57.7%), followed by ceftriaxone (28 cases; 53.8%), and piperacillin/tazobactam and fluoroquinolone (17 cases; 32.7%). In 18 cases (34.6%), three antibiotics were given simultaneously; two antibiotics in 29 cases (55.8%) and in five cases (9.6%) only one antibiotic was given. The mean duration of antibiotic treatment was 12.71 days (3-22 days; SD 4.026).

Conclusions: The study showed unrestricted use of broad-spectrum antibiotics in the treatment of severe cases with COVID-19.


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How to Cite

Mustafa L, Tolaj I, Baftiu N, Fejza H (2021) Use of antibiotics in COVID-19 ICU patients. J Infect Dev Ctries 15:501–505. doi: 10.3855/jidc.14404



Coronavirus Pandemic

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