Using Antibiotics Wisely in Long-Term Care
Many older adults receive antibiotics for urinary tract infections (UTIs) even though they do not have UTI symptoms. This can cause unwanted side effects and lead to other serious complications.
To help reduce unnecessary antibiotic use for asymptomatic bacteria, the Using Antibiotics Wisely campaign is launching new practice change recommendations and resources for interprofessional teams working in long-term care settings. Resources and tools will be available in Fall 2019.
Recommendations for Prescribers in Long-Term Care Settings
- Don’t prescribe antibiotics for asymptomatic bacteriuria (ASB) in non-pregnant
patients. | Hospital medicine #2
- Don’t treat adult cough with antibiotics even if it lasts more than 1 week, unless bacterial pneumonia is suspected (mean viral cough duration is 18 days). | Respiratory medicine #4
- Don’t use antimicrobials to treat bacteriuria in older adults unless specific urinary tract symptoms are present. | Geriatrics #1
- Don’t routinely prescribe intravenous forms of highly bioavailable antimicrobial agents for patients who can reliably take and absorb oral medications. | Infectious disease #1
- Don’t prescribe alternate second-line antimicrobials to patients reporting non-severe reactions to penicillin when beta-lactams are the recommended first-line therapy. | Infectious disease #2
- Don’t recommend antimicrobials to treat bacteriuria in older adults unless specific urinary tract symptoms are present. | Nursing #8
- Don’t use antimicrobials to treat asymptomatic bacteriuria in the elderly. | Urology #4
- Do not treat asymptomatic urinary tract infections in catheterized patients. | Physical medicine and rehabilitation #1
- Don’t recommend antibiotics for infections that are likely viral in origin, such as an influenza-like illness. | Nursing: Infection and Prevention Control #2