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Antibiotic prescribing for self limiting respiratory tract infections in primary care: summary of NICE guidance

Record type: Article

Antibiotics probably provide little benefit for a large proportion of respiratory tract infections that present in primary care. Respiratory tract infections are largely self limiting, and complications are likely to be rare if antibiotics are withheld. However, respiratory tract infections account for 60% of all antibiotic prescribing in primary care,1 and the prescribing patterns for antibiotics vary widely among general practices, without evidence of significant benefit among higher prescribers. Three different management strategies for antibiotics can be used for patients with respiratory tract infection who present in primary care: no antibiotic prescribing; delayed (or deferred) prescribing, in which a prescription is written for use at a later date if symptoms worsen or do not start to settle in the expected timescale; and immediate prescribing. This article summarises the most recent recommendations from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) on antibiotic prescribing for self limiting respiratory tract infections in primary care.

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Citation

Tan, Toni, Little, Paul and Stokes, Tim (2008) Antibiotic prescribing for self limiting respiratory tract infections in primary care: summary of NICE guidance BMJ, 337:a437 (doi:10.1136/bmj.a437).

More information

Published date: 23 July 2008
Keywords: respiratory tract infections, care, health, prescribing, research, research support, primary-care, infection, primary care

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 62155
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/62155
ISSN: 0959-8138
PURE UUID: 9e87e819-dd75-4b7b-a276-2b992a156e06

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 03 Apr 2009
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 14:21

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