Information for GPs

Antibiotic Resistance (AMR)                                                      

The development and spread of AMR in bacterial pathogens is one of the greatest threats facing modern day health care.

 AMR can occur naturally in bacteria, but is catalyzed by the overuse and inappropriate use of antibiotics. This includes;

  • Prescribing the wrong type of antibiotic
  • Prescribing the wrong duration of treatment
  • Prescribing the wrong dose of antibiotic

What does AMR mean?

  1. Infections are more difficult to treat, making it harder to select the right antibiotic without laboratory test results.
  2. For some infections, very few antibiotic options will be available, meaning more expensive antibiotics are required.
  3. Patients with an AMR infection will generally experience a longer illness, with higher health care costs and poorer health outcomes.

Guidelines for Antimicrobial Prescribing in Primary Care in Ireland

Delayed antibiotic treatment for UTI (cystitis)

Recent clinical research has demonstrated that up to 47% of suspected UTI in primary care can resolve naturally, without the need for antibiotic treatment.

In approximately half of suspected UTI patients, symptoms can resolve naturally, meaning an antibiotic may not be required.

Recommending a patient with a suspected UTI to wait 48 hours before commencing treatment will ensure that antibiotics are only used when absolutely necessary.

This approach can help reduce the amount of antimicrobials being consumed by patients and limit the development of AMR in the community.

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