Antibiotics

Antibiotics 'do not cut hospitalisation risk' in children with respiratory infections

An analysis of children presenting in primary care has found that delaying or withholding antibiotics is the most appropriate way of treating suspected respiratory tract infections.

Child blowing his nose

Source: Shutterstock.com

Researchers find that delayed rather than immediate antibiotic prescriptions were associated with a significantly reduced risk of deterioration and subsequent re-consultation for children presenting with respiratory symptoms

Antibiotic prescription does not reduce the risk of hospitalisation in children presenting with acute cough and respiratory symptoms in primary care, study results show[1].

Researchers analysed data from a prospective cohort study including 8,320 children aged 3 months to <16 years presenting to primary care with acute cough or a suspected respiratory tract infection. Overall, 28% were given an immediate prescription and 9% were given a delayed prescription.

The rates of hospitalisation or re-consultation for deterioration within 30 days were 0.8% and 4.0%, respectively.

The researchers found that, compared with no antibiotics, there was no evidence that either type of prescription reduced the risk of hospitalisation. However, delayed rather than immediate antibiotic prescriptions were associated with a significantly reduced risk of deterioration and subsequent re-consultation (risk ratio: 0.55 versus 0.82).

The team said the results were in line with previous research in both children and adults that has indicated that where an antibiotic is deemed necessary in primary care, a delayed prescription may be the most appropriate.

“Most children presenting with acute cough and respiratory symptoms in primary care are not at risk of hospitalisation, and antibiotics may not reduce the risk,” they concluded in the British Journal of General Practice (online, 27 September 2018).

Citation: Clinical Pharmacist DOI: 10.1211/CP.2018.20205525

Have your say

For commenting, please login or register as a user and agree to our Community Guidelines. You will be re-directed back to this page where you will have the ability to comment.

Recommended from Pharmaceutical Press

  • Integrated Pharmacy Case Studies

    Over 90 case studies based on real life patient-care scenarios. Each case includes learning outcomes and references.

    £47.00
  • Introduction to Renal Therapeutics

    Introduction to Renal Therapeutics covers all aspects of drug use in renal failure. Shows the role of the pharmacist in patient care for chronic kidney disease.

    £38.00
  • Introducing Palliative Care

    A key resource for students, covering the recommended palliative curriculum for medical undergraduates.

    £25.00
  • Essentials of Nonprescription Medications and Devices

    Essentials of Nonprescription Medications and Devices provides a quick, comprehensive reference of products available for self-care.

    £33.00
  • Health Policy and Ethics

    A comprehensive review of health policy, ethics, economics, and health care delivery around the world.

    £33.00

Search an extensive range of the world’s most trusted resources

Powered by MedicinesComplete

Newsletter Sign-up

Want to keep up with the latest news, comment and CPD articles in pharmacy and science? Subscribe to our free alerts.