We are often asked by patients to prescribe “just in case” antibiotics, especially when travelling abroad.
There are two scenarios where it is recommended:
- Patients with COPD with predictable exacerbations
- Patients with recurrent urine infections reliably related to sexual intercourse
In all other scenarios it is not recommended. This is for several reasons:
- it is not covered by our contract as an NHS service
- it is not recommended in terms of antibiotic stewardship as likely leads to inappropriate targeting of antibiotic use and increased resistance
- it is not recommended for patient safety (it’s likely the antibiotics won’t be the correct ones for the infection you get, or even delay you seeking medical help if unwell)
- it is not recommended by our medicolegal insurance company as we are prescribing a drug without an indication or follow up or clinical assessment
- it leads to increased waste as the antibiotics are likely to expire before use
You can view further information about antibiotic stewardship here:
What is Antibiotic Resistance? – YouTube – video by PHE -could add this to your practice website?
Antibiotic resistance – NHS (www.nhs.uk)– brief explanation on antibiotic resistance and superbugs.