Antibiotic prescribing for acute bronchitis

Research output: Contribution to journalReviewResearchpeer-review

INTRODUCTION: Acute bronchitis is a self-limiting infectious disease characterized by acute cough with or without sputum but without signs of pneumonia. About 90% of cases are caused by viruses.

AREAS COVERED: Antibiotics for acute bronchitis have been associated with an approximately half-day reduction in duration of cough. However, at follow-up there are no significant differences in overall clinical improvement inpatients treated with antibiotics compared with those receiving placebo. Despite this, antibiotics are administered to approximately two thirds of these patients. This review discusses the reason for this antibiotic overprescription. Other therapies targeted to control symptoms have also demonstrated a marginal or no effect.

EXPERT COMMENTARY: Clinicians should be aware of the marginal effectiveness of antibiotic therapy. Some strategies like the use of rapid tests, delayed prescribing of antibiotics and the use of leaflets for patients have been associated with a reduction of their unnecessary utilization.

Original languageEnglish
JournalExpert Review of Anti-infective Therapy
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)633-642
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2016

    Research areas

  • Journal Article

ID: 165878369