Antibiotics: Information Sources

Last updated: Tuesday, June 20, 2017

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 SPCs 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. SPCs 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 the 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, Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases, or Kucers’ The Use of Antibiotics.

NICE are developing new advice on a range of infections and updating their existing content. Currently their antibiotic prescribing guidelines cover patients managed in primary care, but some of their infection guidance applies to patients in a hospital setting. You can search for this directly via their website or using NICE Evidence search. Using NICE Evidence search will also find guidance from other sources such as the Royal Colleges, SIGN and other experts.

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