g logo nice orange

Respiratory tract infections (self-limiting): prescribing antibiotics

Care pathway for respiratory tract infections (RTIs)

  • At the first face-to-face contact in primary care, including walk-in centres and emergency departments, offer a clinical assessment, including:
    • history (presenting symptoms, use of over-the-counter or self medication, previous medical history, relevant risk factors, relevant comorbidities)
    • examination as needed to establish diagnosis
  • Address patients’ or parents’/carers’ concerns and expectations when agreeing the use of the three antibiotic
    • strategies (no prescribing, delayed prescribing and immediate prescribing)
NICE: Re

* Centor criteria are: presence of tonsillar exudate, tnder anterior cervical lymphadenopathy or lymphadenitis, history or fever and an absence of cough.

© NICE 2007. Respiratory tract infections (self-limiting): prescribing antibiotics.  Quick Reference Guide. Available from: www.nice.org.uk/guidance/CG69 . All rights reserved. Subject to Notice of rights.

NICE guidance is prepared for the National Health Service in England. All NICE guidance is subject to regular review and may be updated or withdrawn. NICE accepts no responsibility for the use of its content in this product/publication. 

First included: October 2008.