Updated Antibiotic Guidelines for Pneumonia Issued

Nicky Broyd

September 16, 2019

Updated antimicrobial prescribing guidance for pneumonia in adults, young people and children has been issued jointly by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and Public Health England (PHE).  

The guidance covers community and hospital acquired cases and stresses the life-threatening potential of the disease.

Common strains among the 220,000 annual cases include methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Where appropriate, antibiotics should be started as soon as possible but no more than 4 hours after diagnosis. Treatment should be started within 1 hour if doctors suspect sepsis.

The new guidance updates parts of the December 2014 NICE guidance on pneumonia in adults.

A safety warning for levofloxacin following restrictions on fluoroquinolone antibiotics issued by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) earlier this year is also incorporated.

Overall, drug resistant infections increased by 35% in England between 2013 and 2017.

NICE antimicrobial guidelines aimed at reducing resistance to antibiotics recommend the shortest effective antibiotic course is prescribed where possible.

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