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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)

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

full guideline available from…
National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, Level 1A, City Tower, Piccadilly Plaza, Manchester, M1 4BT

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. Respiratory tract infections (self-limiting): prescribing antibiotics. Quick Reference Guide . July 2008
First included: October 2008.