Antibiotic Awareness & Information

Guidelines from the CDC: 

Antibiotic use is the most important modifiable driver of antibiotic resistance, and antibiotic-resistant infections lead to higher healthcare costs, poor health outcomes, and more toxic treatments(1).

Over half of antibiotic prescribing in outpatient settings may be inappropriate, and most of this inappropriate use is for acute respiratory infections, such as pharyngitis, sinusitis, or bronchitis(2).

Antibiotics are the most common cause of adverse drug events (ADEs) in children, accounting for 7 of the top 15 drugs leading to pediatric ADE-related emergency room (ER) visits. In adults, ADEs account for 1 out of 5 ADE-related visits to the ER(3, 4).

Harm can be reduced by improving antibiotic prescribing. A 10% decrease in inappropriate prescribing in the community can result in a 17% reduction in Clostridium difficile infection, a severe form of diarrhea usually caused by antibiotic exposure(5).

Clinical practice guidelines for common infections help establish standards of care, focus quality improvement efforts, and improve patient outcomes(6,7).


  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Antibiotic Resistance Threats in the United States. 16 September 2013. Web. 17 July 2014.
  2. Shapiro DJ, Hicks LA, Pavia AT, Hersh AL. Antibiotic prescribing for adults in ambulatory care in the USA, 2007-09. J Antimicrob Chemother. 2014;69(1):234-40.
  3. Bourgeois FT, Mandl KD, Valim C, Shannon MW. Pediatric adverse drug events in the outpatient setting: an 11-year national analysis. Pediatrics. 2009;124(4):e744-50.
  4. Budnitz DS, Pollock DA, Weidenbach KN, Mendelsohn AB, Schroeder TJ, Annest JL. National surveillance of emergency department visits for outpatient adverse drug events. JAMA. 2006;296(15):1858-66.
  5. Wendt JM, Cohen JA, Mu Y, Dumyati GK, Dunn JR, Holzbauer SM, et al. Clostridium difficile infection among children across diverse US geographic locations. Pediatrics. 2014;133(4):651-8.
  6. Asadi L, Eurich DT, Gamble JM, Minhas-Sandhu JK, Marrie TJ, Majumdar SR. Guideline adherence and macrolides reduced mortality in outpatients with pneumonia. Respir Med. 2012;106(3):451-8.
  7. Garber AM. Evidence-based guidelines as a foundation for performance incentives. Health Aff. 2005;24(1):174-9.


Adult Outpatient Treatment Recommendations (CDC)

Pediatric Outpatient Treatment Recommendations (CDC)

CDC Factsheet on Appropriate Antibiotic Use

Full CDC Resources for Patients & Healthcare Professionals

Get Smart - Test Your Knowledge About Antibiotics