Overuse of antimicrobial drugs has resulted in an alarming increase in bacterial resistance in most countries. The relevance for general practice is unknown.
To evaluate the impact of the sale of antimicrobial drugs on bacterial resistance as found in uropathogens from general practice.
General practice in Belgium and Norway.
The sale of antimicrobial drugs indicated for use in the treatment of urinary tract infection was four times higher in Belgium than in Norway (18.5 vs 4.4 DDD/1000 inhabitants/day). The antibiotic resistance reported by microbiological laboratories as valid for general practice was significant higher in Belgium than in Norway (ampicillins (44% vs 27%), co-trimoxazole (28% vs 17%), fluoroquinolones (12% vs 2%) and nitrofurantoin (16% vs 11%, p