March 2019 Pharmacy Update

Antibiotic Resistance: Prescribing Tips

 As you may already be involved in various antibiotic stewardship initiatives in your practice, we like to provide you with additional resources from the CDC to help you and your patients understand the importance of proper antibiotic prescribing.

CDC recommendations to Healthcare Providers in the Outpatient Settings:

  1. Follow clinical guidelines on whether to prescribe antibiotics.
  2. When prescribing antibiotics, prescribe the right antibiotic at the right dose for the right duration at the right time.
    • Give Taking Your Antibiotics handout to patients
  3. Shortening the duration of antibiotic therapy to the minimum effective duration is a key antibiotic stewardship strategy in all settings of health care. Goal: Maximize benefit by curing the infection while minimizing the risks of antibiotic resistance and side effects.
  4. Only prescribe antibiotics when they are needed. You can do harm by prescribing antibiotics that aren’t needed.
    • See Watchful Waiting and Delayed Prescribing handouts
  5. Tell your patients why they don’t need antibiotics for a viral infection, what to do to feel better, and when to seek care again if they don’t feel better.
    • See Symptom Relief handout
  6. Talk to your patients and their families about possible harms from antibiotics, such as allergic reactions, C. difficile, and antibiotic-resistant infections.
  7. Educate your patients and their families so they can recognize the signs and symptoms of sepsis and know when to seek medical care for possible sepsis.
  8. Perform hand hygiene and follow infection prevention measures with every patient.
More information and the handouts above can be found on the CDC website by clicking here.