World Antibiotics Awareness Week

Together we can keep antibiotics working!

It’s World Antibiotic Awareness Week and the Choosing Wisely campaign is joining others across the world to highlight the dangers of the overuse of antibiotics.

With antibiotic resistance on the rise globally, it’s vital that we preserve the remaining antibiotics we do have. They need to be treated as precious commodities and not used when they aren’t necessary.

A growing number of infections, such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, and gonorrhoea are becoming harder to treat as the antibiotics used to treat them become less effective. Antibiotic resistance leads to longer hospital stays, higher medical costs and increased mortality.

Choosing Wisely has worked with medical colleges and societies to develop specific recommendations about antibiotic use; listed below.

Consumers can find out more about using antibiotics wisely in our resources.

Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases

  •  Do not use antibiotics in asymptomatic bacteriuria.
  • Do not take a swab or use antibiotics for the management of a leg ulcer without clinical infection.
  • Avoid prescribing antibiotics for upper respiratory tract infection.

 Australian and New Zealand Society for Geriatric Medicine

  •  Do not use antimicrobials to treat bacteriuria in older adults where specific urinary tract symptoms are not present.

 College of Intensive Care Medicine of Australia And New Zealand

  • Consider antibiotic de-escalation daily.

Internal Medicine Society of Australia And New Zealand

  • Once patients have become afebrile (non-feverish) and are clinically improving, don’t continue prescribing intravenous antibiotics to those with uncomplicated infections and no high-risk features if they are tolerant of oral antibiotics.

New Zealand and Australian Societies of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery

  • Don’t prescribe oral antibiotics for uncomplicated acute discharge from grommets.
  • Don’t prescribe oral antibiotics for uncomplicated acute otitis externa.

New Zealand Dermatological Society

  • Don’t use oral antibiotics for the treatment of atopic dermatitis unless there is clinical evidence of infection.
  • Don’t routinely use topical antibiotics on a surgical wound.

Paediatrics & Child Health

  • Do not routinely prescribe oral antibiotics to children with fever without an identified bacterial infection.