Antimicrobial stewardship: prescribing antibiotics (KTT9)
This NICE advice, KTT9, was first published in 2015 and was updated in January 2017. The update changed the focus of the advice and now includes important information on 3-day courses of antibiotics for uncomplicated urinary tract infection.
To help prevent the development of resistance it is important to only prescribe antibiotics when they are necessary, and not for self-limiting mild infections such as colds and most coughs, sinusitis, earache and sore throats.
The PHE guidance recommends that simple generic antibiotics should be used if possible when antibiotics are necessary. Broad-spectrum antibiotics (e.g. co-amoxiclav, quinolones and cephalosporins) need to be reserved to treat resistant disease. They should generally be used only when narrow-spectrum antibiotics are ineffective because they increase the risk of MRSA, Clostridium difficile and resistant UTIs.