Antibiotics are among the most prescribed medicines. Most antibiotics for systemic use in humans
are prescribed by general practitioners in the outpatient setting, with acute respiratory tract
infections being the most common indication, followed by urinary tract infections.
The use of antibiotics, appropriate or otherwise, is an important factor leading to the development
of antibiotic resistance. Furthermore, the inappropriate use of antibiotics for upper respiratory tract
infections, most of which are viral, significantly contributes to antibiotic resistance.
Superbugs are bacteria resistant to one or more antibiotics, making it difficult to treat or cure
infections that were once easily treated. The spread of superbugs is a serious and growing threat
around the world. A tipping point has been reached globally, where we find ourselves on the brink of
a ‘post-antibiotic era’.
This module discusses commonly used antibiotics and provides guidance on their appropriate use for
commonly occurring community-acquired bacterial infections. It will enable you to provide
information to the public and prescribers on judicious antibiotic use which can help prevent
unnecessary antibiotic use.
Improving the way healthcare professionals prescribe antibiotics and the way that patients take
antibiotics can help fight antibiotic resistance and ensure that these life-saving medicines will be
available for future generations.