To combat antimicrobial resistance, physicians typically tell patients to complete their full courses of antibiotic treatment. Yet a team of researchers in the United Kingdom not only says that there is no evidence that this approach is helpful, but that it may even make things worse and that patients should stop taking these medications once they feel better.
As physicians and medical organizations such as the Royal College of General Practitioners continue to debate if full or abbreviated treatment is better for preventing resistance, the Faculty of General Dental Practice in the UK (FGDP(UK)) says that nothing should change for dentists, who often prescribe short courses of antibiotics anyway.
“This will be nothing new for dentists. Our advice since publishing the first edition of our guidance in 2001, and in line with the British National Formulary and scientific evidence, has always been that courses of antibiotics should not be unduly prolonged because they encourage resistance and may lead to side effects,” said Nikolaus Palmer, BDS, PhD, editor of the FGDP(UK)’s Antimicrobial Prescribing for General Dental Practitioners.