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Medicine Pharmacology

Brief: When should you use anti-infective drugs?

This Summary is an adaptation of the Clinical Info on Medical Emergencies provided by the Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA)

Consider the following when prescribing antibiotics:

  • Use only when there is an indication.
  • Use only when the risk-benefit ratio is favourable.
  • They are not a substitute for establishing adequate drainage.
  • Choose an effective agent with the narrowest spectrum of activity.
  • Prescribe a therapeutic dose and consider a loading dose.
  • Prescribe at an appropriate frequency and for an appropriate duration.
  • Choose the drug with the fewest side effects.
  • Consider laboratory culture and sensitivity tests to target specific bacteria with antibiotics identified as effective.
  • Recognize that antibiotics encourage development of resistance, if used for a long duration and/or at suboptimal doses.
  • In superficial infections, consider alternatives to antibiotics, such as topical debridement and application of topical antiseptics when appropriate.
  • Consider individual patient factors, such as age, allergies and drug interactions, especially with azole antifungals (fluconazole, itraconazole, ketoconazole), clarithromycin, erythromycin, metronidazole, tetracyclines; consult individual product monographs and drug interaction references.
  • Consider cost.

Antibacterial Dosages for Orofacial Infections.

Antibacterial Dosages for Orofacial Infections


Antifungals for the Treatment of Oral Candidiasis

Antifungals for the Treatment of Oral Candidiasis

Canadian Pharmacists Association: Compendium of Pharmaceuticals and Specialties, online version (e-CPS), accessed on May 15, 2013


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1 Comment

  1. Alastair Nicoll May 22, 2013

    Clarithromycin, Doxycycline and Erythromycine are not a good choice for the treatment of infections of dental origin. Likewise Cephalosporins are a poor choice. I suggest that readers take a look at the book “Bugs and Drugs” page 503. I believe this book has been distributed free of charge by the respective governments to dentists in BC and Alberta.

    I an sending a copy of this page by fax to CDA.


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