Patients frequently present to outpatient clinics and community pharmacies with acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and clinicians have an important decision to make. Should they prescribe antibiotics? Patients may seek antibiotics as a quick fix to their symptoms, but many AECOPD are not caused by bacterial infection. Prescribing unnecessary antibiotics exposes patients to adverse effects and can increase antimicrobial resistance. But not prescribing antibiotics could delay recovery if the exacerbation is of bacterial origin … or worse, result in an avoidable hospitalization and death. Could a simple, bedside test empower patients and prescribers to use antimicrobials more selectively?
Guest Author: Brittany Schmidt, PharmD, BCACP
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Overuse of broad-spectrum antibiotics can lead to antimicrobial resistance, increased cost, and higher prevalence of adverse drug reactions. Nearly 2 million infections and 23,000 deaths are caused by bacteria that are antibiotic-resistant each year in the United States costing the healthcare system an estimated 20 billion dollars. Moreover, adverse reactions to antibiotics are the most common reason for pediatric patients to visit the emergency department. Narrow-spectrum antimicrobials are generally preferred, but there are instances where broader coverage is recommended. A recent study attempts to “clean up” the debate by examining the benefits and risks of using narrow- versus broad-spectrum antibiotics in children with acute respiratory tract infections.
Guest Authors: Amber Giles, PharmD, MPH, BCPS, AAHIVP and Paige Hughes, PharmD
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Observational studies and systematic reviews have shown an association between low vitamin D concentrations and acute respiratory tract infections (ARTIs). An association is one thing, but can vitamin D supplementation reduce the risk of ARTIs? That’s what a recent systematic review and meta-analysis attempted to determine.
Guest Author: Amanda Schartel, Pharm.D., BCACP
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