Antibiotic resources for clinicians

Antibiotic resources for clinicians

Prescribing a routine course of antibiotics significantly increases the likelihood of an individual carrying a resistant bacterial strain – resistant bacteria can be spread to family, friends and the broader community. To minimise antibiotic resistance, Australian guidelines recommend that an antibiotic should only be prescribed:
  • when benefits to the patient are likely to be substantial
  • with the narrowest spectrum to treat the likely pathogen
  • at the appropriate dose and for the appropriate duration
Staphylococcus aureus that is methicillin-resistant (MRSA), and therefore resistant to all β-lactam antibiotics, is widespread, with skin and soft tissue infections among the most common sources. Although most of the data describe the problem in hospital settings, there is an emerging picture of antibiotic resistance in community settings across Australia.

Find out more about using antibiotics wisely for skin infections.

Guidelines and publications

Medicinewise News: Take a bite out of resistance

Bites and clenched fist injuries are common sites of skin infections but may not require antibiotics. Read more about assessing risk of infection in skin wounds and prescribing appropriately.

Antibiotic resistance — a problem for everyone

Antibiotic use not only increases antibiotic resistance at a population level but also at an individual level. Find more about antibiotic resistance.

How you can help contain antibiotic resistance

GPs and other prescribing health professionals are in a prime position to address the issue of antibiotic resistance. Read how you can take a lead role in containing antibiotic resistance.

Why you should help

Experts predict a return to the pre-antibiotic era by 2030 if nothing is done to curb antibiotic resistance. Read why you should help contain antibiotic resistance.

Using antibiotics wisely for skin infections

Australian health professionals prescribe higher rates and average doses of antibiotics than their counterparts in many western European countries. Help fight antibiotic resistance with your prescribing.

Continuing professional development (CPD)

Clinical e-Audit: Management of specific respiratory tract infections

This clinical e-audit about specific RTIs enables you to review your current practice, consider implementing changes to practice and reflect on areas for ongoing improvement.

Case Study: Urinary tract infections: exploring antibiotic treatment

In this case study exploring antibiotic treatment for urinarty tract infections you will meet Clara Wainwright, an 82-year-old woman who lives in the local aged-care facility. 

Online Course: Antimicrobials: catheter-associated urinary tract infections

This free online course on antibiotics and catheter-associated urinary tract infections is for pharmacists, nurses and students.

Online Course: Antimicrobials: community-acquired pneumonia

This free online course on antibiotics and community-acquired pneumonia is for pharmacists, nurses and students.

Online Course: Antimicrobials: surgical prophylaxis

This free online course on antibiotic prophylaxis and surgery is for pharmacists, nurses and students.

Online Course: Managing UTIs in aged care

This free online course on antibiotics and catheter-associated urinary tract infections is for pharmacists, nurses and students.

Medicines Use Review: Antibiotics in urinary tract infections: ensuring appropriate use

This continuing professional development activity assists pharmacists & nurses to reflect on management of urinary tract infections (UTIs) & use of antibiotics.

National Prescribing Curriculum module: Respiratory tract infection in a child

This free online course on respiratory tract infections in children is for students.

Tools, calculators and apps

Take the pledge

If you are prescribing, dispensing or working with people taking antibiotics, take the health professional pledge now to join the fight against antibiotic resistance.

For your patients

Respiratory tract infections: Manage your symptoms action plan

Patients can often self-manage coughs and colds and avoid antibiotics. This management plan will help you remind patients of the things they can do.

Antibiotic resistance – what it is and why it's a problem

Antibiotic resistance is when bacteria are no longer sensitive to an antibiotic. Read about how antibiotic resistance is caused; what you can do to help prevent it

My child has a middle-ear infection: is an antibiotic necessary? PDF 114 kB

An information leaflet answering important questions that parents or carers may have on the management of middle-ear infections in children.

'Coughs colds and flu what you can do' 

A counselling tool to discuss colds and flu and antibiotic use with your patients - PDF format - 415 kB.


NPS MedicineWise and Tropfest have partnered to encourage creative individuals or groups to help spread a vital health message to Australians that, through misuse and overuse, antibiotics are losing their power. "Excuse me, aren't you gonnorrhoea?"

Other resources

Preventing infections of the heart and antibiotics

This factsheet from NPS MedicineWise is about preventing an infection of the heart in people with heart conditions

Is antibiotic use overestimated?

To what extent does the volume of antibiotic prescriptions reflect actual antibiotic use? A consortium of 14 European research networks has carried out a prospective study to find out. 

Antibiotics: Prescribing Practice Review (PPR) 57

This 2012 NPS MedicineWise article covers safe and appropriate use of antibiotics for specific respiratory tract infections and ways to exclude viral infections and avoid X-rays.

Antibiotic resistance: a problem for everyone, NPS News 77

This 2012 article from NPS MedicineWise reviews the latest evidence about individual antibiotic resistance and using patient-centred communication to improve prescribing.

Decisions and management of asymptomatic bacteriuria

People with asymptomatic bacteriuria are at an increased risk of developing symptomatic UTI. But treatment will not decrease this risk or improve other outcomes other than in populations for whom treatment of asymptomatic bacteriuria has been shown to be beneficial.

Read about treatment for asymptomatic bacteriuria on the NPS MedicineWise website.

Urinary tract infections

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are common. Women have a 1-in-3 chance of developing a urinary tract infection in their lifetime. This is about 50 times more than for men. The likelihood of having had a UTI increases with age in both men and women.

Read about Urinary tract infections on the NPS MedicineWise website.


Last reviewed 02 November 2016