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Type: Journal article
Title: Responsible prescribing for upper respiratory tract infections
Author: Turnidge, J.
Citation: Drugs, 2001; 61(14):2065-2077
Publisher: Adis International Ltd
Issue Date: 2001
ISSN: 0012-6667
Abstract: Upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs) are responsible for a large amount of community antibacterial use worldwide. Recent systematic reviews have demonstrated that most URTIs resolve naturally, even when bacteria are the cause. The high consumer expectation for antibacterials in URTIs requires intervention by the general practitioner and a number of useful strategies have been developed. Generic strategies, including eliciting patient expectations, avoiding the term 'just a virus', providing a value-for-money consultation, providing verbal and written information, empowering patients, conditional prescribing, directed education campaigns, and emphasis on symptomatic treatments, should be used as well as discussion of alternative medicines when relevant. The various conditions have differing rates of bacterial infection and require different approaches. For acute rhinitis, laryngitis and tracheitis, viruses are the only cause and, therefore, antibacterials are never required. In acute sore throat (pharyngitis) Streptococcus pyogenes is the only important bacterial cause. A scoring system can help to increase the likelihood of distinguishing a streptococcal as opposed to viral infection, or alternatively patients should be given antibacterials only if certain conditions are fulfilled. Strategies for treating acute otitis media vary in different countries. Most favour the strategy of prescribing antibacterials only when certain criteria are fulfilled, delaying antibacterial prescribing for at least 24 hours. In otitis media with effusion, on the other hand, there is no primary role for antibacterials, as the condition resolves naturally in almost all patients aged >3 months. Detailed strategies for acute sinusitis have not been worked out but restricting antibacterial prescribing to certain clinical complexes is currently recommended by several authorities because of the high natural resolution rate.
Keywords: Humans
Respiratory Tract Infections
Anti-Bacterial Agents
Drug Resistance
Patient Satisfaction
Patient Care Planning
Drug Prescriptions
Practice Patterns, Physicians'
DOI: 10.2165/00003495-200161140-00004
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest
Molecular and Biomedical Science publications

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