FRIDAY, May 31, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Less than 60 percent of prescriptions for the treatment of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among teens seeking care in the emergency department are filled, according to a research letter published online May 28 in JAMA Pediatrics.

Alexandra Lieberman, from the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington, D.C., and colleagues retrospectively evaluated visits made by adolescents (aged 13 to 19 years) to two pediatric tertiary care emergency departments with a diagnosis of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) or a positive lab test result for chlamydia infection.

The researchers found that during the study period, there were 696 visits with diagnosed STIs. Of these visits, just under one-third of patients (31.2 percent) received an outpatient prescription for antimicrobial treatment for cervicitis/urethritis, while 68.8 percent received one for PID. Just over half of these prescriptions were filled (57.7 percent). Hospital admission was the only factor associated with prescription filling (adjusted odds ratio, 2.3; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.0 to 5.0).

“Given the astoundingly low rates of prescription filling for STI treatment, it is imperative that novel interventions to improve treatment adherence be explored,” the authors write.

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