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Using antibiotics wisely: a campaign worth knowing about

In addition to its recommendations categorized by medical specialty, Choosing Wisely Canada organizes campaigns in several areas of application including the wise use of antibiotics.

Every year in Canada, more than 25 million prescriptions for antibiotics for human consumption are written. It is estimated that 30% to 50% of them are unnecessary.

Shocking? Definitely and that is why Choosing Wisely Canada launched a targeted campaign to encourage the wise use of antibiotics.

There are over 20 recommendations prepared by more than 15 specialist organizations in the country and sorted according to area of practice: primary care, hospital and long-term care.

In addition, numerous tools have been made available: posters, tip sheets for physicians or patients, prescription handouts, etc.

Here are the 6 ways to use antibiotics wisely according to Choosing Wisely Canada

1Don’t use antibiotics for upper respiratory infections that are likely viral in origin, such as influenza-like illness, or self-limiting, such as sinus infections of less than seven days of duration.

2Don’t collect urine specimens for culture from adults who lack symptoms localizing to the urinary tract or fever unless they are pregnant or undergoing genitourinary instrumentation where mucosal bleeding is expected.

3Don’t prescribe antibiotics for asymptomatic bacteriuria (ASB) in non-pregnant patients.

4Don’t prescribe antibiotics in adults with bronchitis/asthma and children with bronchiolitis.

5Don’t use antibiotics in adults and children with uncomplicated sore throats.

6Don’t use antibiotics in adults and children with uncomplicated acute otitis media.


Download this Tip Sheet for Prescribers and learn more about the campaign.

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