Get Smart About Antibiotics

Earlier this year, TMA's Committee on Infectious Diseases highlighted the growing problem of antimicrobial resistance. The committee encourages you to be familiar with information prepared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for this year's national Get Smart About Antibiotics Week, Nov. 14-20.

The CDC's annual effort helps highlight the national Get Smart campaign, which promotes appropriate prescribing guidelines, increasing adherence to prescribed antibiotics, and decreasing demand for antibiotics for viral upper respiratory infections. Inappropriate or overuse of antibiotic and antimicrobials is a significant public health threat, as it increases drug-resistance germs. An estimated 50 percent of antibiotics are unnecessarily prescribed in offices for upper respiratory infections.

While no single strategy can eliminate antibiotic resistance, CDC works with partners to eliminate inappropriate use of antibiotics in human medicine, animal medicine, and agriculture. CDC is asking you to:

  • Prescribe correctly. Prescribe the right antibiotic at the right dose for the right duration, and refrain from prescribing antibiotics for treating viral infections.
  • Collaborate with each other and with patients. Talk to your patients about appropriate use and work with pharmacists to counsel patients.
  • If you start antibiotics before a patient's full laboratory results are known, stop and reassess the prescribed therapy when his or her culture or other clinical results¬†are available.
  • Embrace antibiotic stewardship. Improve antibiotic use in facilities through stewardship programs.

Additional Information
TMA's page on  Antimicrobial Stewardship includes a list of resources for physicians.

CDC's Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work webpage targets both patients and physicians and includes guidelines, patient materials, and continuing education opportunities.

CDC's Get Smart For Healthcare campaign focuses on improving antimicrobial use for inpatients.

Action, Nov. 15, 2011