Shorter and Longer Antibiotic Durations for Respiratory Infections: To Fight Antimicrobial Resistance—A Retrospective Cross-Sectional Study in a Secondary Care Setting in the UK

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

As antimicrobial resistance (AMR) escalates globally, examining antibiotic treatment durations for respiratory infections becomes increasingly pertinent, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. In a UK secondary care setting, this retrospective study was carried out to assess the appropriateness of antibiotic treatment durations—shorter (≤5 days) versus longer (6–7 days and >8 days)—for respiratory tract infections (RTIs) in 640 adults across 2019 and 2020, in accordance with local antimicrobial guidelines. The analysis employed these guidelines and clinical evidence to examine the effectiveness and suitability of antibiotic prescribing practices. This study considered the ‘Shorter Is Better’ approach, noting an increased rate of patient discharges associated with shorter antibiotic regimens (≤5 days). It further demonstrates that shorter treatments are as effective as longer ones for conditions such as COPD exacerbation, COVID-19 pneumonia, and hospital-acquired pneumonia (HAP), except in cases of community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) and unspecified diagnoses. Nevertheless, this study raises concerns over an observed increase in mortality risk with shorter treatment durations. Although these mortality differences were not statistically significant and might have been influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for extended research with a larger sample size is highlighted to confirm these findings. This study also emphasises the critical need for accurate and specific diagnoses and considering risk assessments at admission, advocating for tailored, evidence-based antibiotic prescribing to ensure patient safety. It contributes to antimicrobial stewardship efforts by reinforcing the importance of adapting antibiotic use to current healthcare challenges and promoting a global commitment to fight antimicrobial resistance. This approach is crucial for enhancing patient outcomes and saving lives on a global scale.
Original languageEnglish
Article number339
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalPharmaceuticals
Volume17
Issue number3
Early online date6 Mar 2024
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Mar 2024

Keywords

  • antimicrobial stewardship (AMS)
  • antimicrobial resistance (AMR)
  • antibiotic prescribing
  • antibiotic duration
  • Acute care setting
  • Hospoitals
  • Shorter durtation
  • Public health
  • COVID-19 pandemic

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Shorter and Longer Antibiotic Durations for Respiratory Infections: To Fight Antimicrobial Resistance—A Retrospective Cross-Sectional Study in a Secondary Care Setting in the UK'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this