Bringing hospital antibiotic treatments into the home
Writing in the latest edition of Australian Prescriber, the authors say that whether a drug needs to be given once daily, twice daily, or as a continuous drip, depends on the type of antibiotic required.
Patients enrolled in home programs should be monitored by a doctor or nurse to minimise side effects and maximise the effectiveness of the treatment. Patient and carer education can also help.
“Receiving the correct dose of the medicine at the correct times is essential, but so are other aspects of care, such as bed rest, limb elevation and changing dressings, if required,” say the authors.
Not everybody is suitable for home treatment. Some patients may not be well enough to be at home, or the home environment may not be suitable.
Training patients and carers to administer medicines at home has enabled convenient and practical home treatment of many serious infections that cannot be treated with oral medicines.
Australian Prescriber is an independent peer-reviewed journal providing critical commentary on therapeutic topics for health professionals, particularly doctors in general practice. It is published every two months and distributed to health professionals free of charge, and is also available online at www.australianprescriber.com