In 2011, former World Health Organization Director-General, Dr Margaret Chan, warned that ‘In the absence of urgent corrective and protective actions, the world is heading towards a post-antibiotic era, in which many common infections will no longer have a cure and, once again, kill unabated.’1 Since then, many preventative measures have been proposed including reducing unnecessary use of antibiotics in agriculture, improving surveillance of drug resistance, stimulating a robust pharmaceutical research and development pipeline for new antibiotics, and raising global awareness. So where do you—as a prescribing clinician—fit in to this equation?

You will be aware that NICE published recommendations on antimicrobial stewardship in 20172 to help ensure that the right antibiotics are prescribed in the appropriate way; however, it also acknowledged that prescribing clinicians face many barriers to changing prescribing habits, one of which is the possible risk of adverse outcomes from not treating with an antibiotic.

To tackle these challenges, NICE and PHE have developed a summary table on antimicrobial prescribing for managing common infections. This interactive table aids clinical practice in all care settings with a focus on bacterial infections and antibiotic use. Visual summaries are embedded within the table and include dosage information for adults and children. Please refer to the antimicrobial prescribing guidelines on the NICE website


  1. World Health Organization. World Health Day 2011. www.who.int/mediacentre/news/statements/2011/whd_20110407/en/ (accessed 28 March 2019)
  2. NICE. Antimicrobial stewardship: changing risk-related behaviours in the general population. NICE Guideline 63. NICE, 2017. Available at: www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng63