Antibiotics are NOT always the answer………….
The American College of Physicians and the CDC have published a set of recommendations on the appropriate use of antibiotics for acute respiratory tract infection.
The recommendations, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, include the following:
Bronchitis: Clinicians shouldn’t order tests or start antibiotics unless they suspect pneumonia.
Group A streptococcal pharyngitis: Clinicians should conduct a rapid antigen detection test and/or culture for group A Streptococcus in symptomatic patients. Only patients with confirmed streptococcal pharyngitis should receive antibiotics.
Acute rhinosinusitis: Clinicians should prescribe antibiotics only in patients with symptoms that have lasted over 10 days; with severe symptom onset or high fever and purulent nasal discharge or facial pain that has lasted for 3 days or more; or with worsening symptoms after a viral illness that was improving.
Common cold: Antibiotics shouldn’t be prescribed.
The groups also provide a set of talking points for clinicians when discussing antibiotic use with patients who have an acute respiratory tract infection.