Good practice recommendations for antimicrobial use in frail elderly patients in NHS Scotland

Scottish Antimicrobial Prescribing Group

Antimicrobials are important medicines capable of combatting extremely serious infections that would otherwise be potentially lethal to patients; this is especially true of elderly patients who can be more vulnerable to infection. While invaluable, there are substantial risks associated with antimicrobial use; especially if over-prescribed, ranging from relatively minor side-effects to accidental creation of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria. Balancing the need for antimicrobial treatment with the associated risks is particularly pertinent in elderly paints who are between two and three times more likely to be prescribed antimicrobials than the younger population.

This Guidelines summary provides recommendations for appropriate prescribing and monitoring of patients receiving antimicrobials.

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