5 times it's okay to prescribe short-course antibiotics

Many shorter courses of treatment work just as well as longer ones for common illnesses, says expert

Longer is not always better when it comes to prescribing antibiotics, with many shorter courses of treatment as effective as lengthier ones for common illnesses, an infectious disease expert says.

Evidence exists to support short-course antibiotics for conditions such as acute otitis media, tonsillitis and rhinosinusitis, according to Canberra Hospital infectious diseases physician Dr Heather Wilson.

“Given Australia’s relatively high rates of prescribing, we can all play a significant role in reducing the burden of inappropriate antimicrobial use by prescribing short-course therapy when appropriate and limiting prescriptions when they are not indicated,” writes Dr Wilson and colleagues, including Bond University academic GP Professor Chris Del Mar, in Australian Prescriber.

They say it’s important to always include the duration of the course on a prescription, avoid writing repeats and educate