Antibiotics: Information sources

Last updated: Sunday, June 13, 2021

As we have seen you could be faced with a broad range of problems about antibiotics and you may find it helpful to revisit the Information sources page in other topics such as Interactions, Drug handling, Liver and Renal.

However the BNF, BNF for Children and SmPCs are good places to start for most straightforward antibiotic questions. The BNF and BNF for Children include prophylaxis and treatment guidelines for a range of infections, dosing information and advice on therapeutic drug monitoring. SmPCs may give you more detailed guidance in managing patients with special considerations such as those with renal or liver disease.

Your Trust will have local antibiotics policies. Be familiar with the basic content of these documents and know how to find them.

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Subscription resources such as Martindale and AHFS Drug Information, and Lexicomp, Micromedex or UpToDate can be very useful places to look for information on antibiotics.

You may have access to some more specialist resources such as The Sanford Guide, the Johns Hopkins site, Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases, or Kucers’ The Use of Antibiotics.

NICE have produced some guidance that is relevant to antibiotic choice in secondary care. You can find this on our Treatment of common infections page. 

Don’t forget to use your experts – your Trust may have a specialist anti-infectives pharmacist or you could speak to the hospital microbiology team.

Presenting your answer 

Once you’ve asked sufficient questions, gathered the information required and assessed it, you’ll need to provide an answer. We can offer you some general guidance on answering clinical problems.