Antibiotic Stewardship

Antibiotic Stewardship

  • Posted on Mar 14, 2017

That’s one of the new buzz words in medicine. It means that we should use antibiotics responsibly. For instance, not treating a viral infection with an antibiotic. There has been a movement to use shorter durations of antibiotics for infections also.

A recent article addressed using 5 days of antibiotics instead of 10 days to treat ear infections in children under age 2. Parents were asked to report symptoms such as crying, tugging on ears, fever and irritability. The children were either given Augmentin for 10 days or Augmentin for 5 days followed by a placebo. The study was stopped early!

Children that were treated for only 5 days had to many failures…34%!

Of interest, the side effects such as diarrhea and diaper rash, were the same in both groups.

What does this information tell us? First, younger children need longer course of antibiotics. We have studies that show that older children can be treated with 5 days but we know that younger children need 10 days. Secondly, as parents, it’s easy to forget the medicine when your child starts to feel better. Don’t stop, up to a third of the children will need another round of antibiotics if you end the antibiotics too early.

Try setting an alarm on your cell phone to remind you. Write a note on the refrigerator. It’s worth the effort!


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