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The Risks and Benefits of ‘Unnecessary’ Antibiotic Use for Common RTIs

Completion of an antibiotic treatment once initiated has classically been postulated. Discontinuing an unnecessary antibiotic course is seldom carried out, mostly because of the fear of antibiotic resistance. However, a recent RCT has found that discontinuing antibiotics when the prescriber deems them unnecessary may be appropriate.


Discontinuing antibiotics for uncomplicated RTIs, when deemed unnecessary, is safe and reduces antibiotic consumption.

RTIs: Respiratory Tract Infections, RCT: Randomized controlled trial.


Llor C, Moragas A, Bayona C, Cots JM, Hernández S, Calviño O, Rodríguez M, Miravitlles M. Efficacy and safety of discontinuing antibiotic
treatment for uncomplicated respiratory tract infections when deemed unnecessary. A multicentre, randomized clinical trial in primary care.
Clin Microbiol Infect. 2022 Feb;28(2):241-247.

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