“In outpatient clinics, the reduction in the incidence of bacterial respiratory infections by restricting the movement and crowding of people and the widespread use of masks and the reduction in access to medical consultations determined a clear reduction in the consumption of antibiotics”, says the annual report of the DGS's Program for Prevention and Control of Infections and Resistance to Antimicrobials (PPCIRA).

Published today, on World Hand Hygiene Day, the document states that outpatient antibiotic consumption had a “slightly increasing trend” between 2013 and 2019, but always remaining below the European average.

“In 2020, due to the pandemic context, there was a marked reduction in consumption, which seems to be sustained in 2021. This reduction was more marked than the European average”, the PPCIRA data also add.


However, the ratio of broad-spectrum to narrow-spectrum antibiotics increased between 2018 and 2021 and more sharply than the European average, which makes Portugal the “fifth worst European-wide result in this indicator”, warns the report released by the DGS.

Regarding the hospital consumption of antibiotics, the document states that it has remained stable since 2013 and below the European average.

“Consumption of a group of antibiotics for hospital use more associated with the treatment of infections caused by multidrug-resistant bacteria has remained stable since 2014, resolving the growing trend that occurred between 2011 and 2014,” the report also notes.