Find reliable independent health and treatment information about antibiotics written by Australian experts. This includes resources for consumers and health professionals.

About antibiotics

Antibiotics are medicines used to treat a wide variety of infections or diseases caused by bacteria including:

If you are prescribed antibiotics, it is important that you follow your health professional’s advice on when, how, and for how long to take them. Find out more about:

Using antibiotics when you don’t need them (eg, if you have a cold or flu) can contribute to the problem of antibiotic resistance. Find out more about:

You can also search for your antibiotic by type or brand name.

Find out more

Pledge to fight antibiotic resistance

NPS MedicineWise antibiotic resistance pledge badge

The development of antibiotics was one of the most important advances of medicine. Now, because of the overuse and misuse of antibiotics, bacterial infections that were once easily cured with antibiotics are becoming harder to treat.

This is due to antibiotic resistance. It has been identified by the WHO as one of the greatest threats to human health today.

Take the pledge now

For health professionals  

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.

Our CPD activities

Consolidate your knowledge on antibiotics, brush up on current guidelines and practices and earn CPD points through our learning activities.

Clinical information

The information below is intended for health professionals. It uses the latest guidelines and evidence to help health professionals further understand the issues around antibiotic resistance. It also includes tools and resources to help educate patients and carers

For your patients

Use the following tools and resources especially designed for use in your consultations with patients.

Other tools and resources

Take the pledge

a doctor speaking to an elderly gentleman patient

Antibiotic resistance is everyone's problem. All health professionals have a responsibility to preserve the miracle of antibiotics.

If you are prescribing, dispensing or working with people taking antibiotics, take the pledge and help reduce the threat of antibiotic resistance.

Take the health professional pledge now

Related information - antibiotics


(Media release)
01 Feb 2017 The latest issue of Australia's free, national, independent journal of drugs and therapeutics is now available. Australian Prescriber facilitates debate about complex, controversial or uncertain therapeutic areas. Some of the highlights of the February issue include:Drugs for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Midazolam for status epilepticus, Compounded medicines
For health professionals (Health professional publication)
11 Nov 2016 Is antibiotic resistance really a problem for this generation? Here we present the latest evidence on antibiotic resistance in Australia, with a focus on primary care and community settings, and summarise what health professionals and patients can do to help.
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02 Nov 2016
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13 Oct 2016 Find out which tests, treatments or procedures healthcare providers and consumers should question, as recommended by Australian medical colleges.
11 Oct 2016 NPS MedicineWise is working with organisations around the world to encourage the responsible use of antibiotics across the health sector, agriculture, industry, and communities.
11 Oct 2016 NPS MedicineWise has created a suite of materials and resources that you can use to get involved with the week.
11 Oct 2016 The World Health Organization has warned that antibiotic resistance is one of the greatest threats to human health today.
11 Oct 2016 Antibiotic Awareness Week from 14-20 November 2016 has the theme
For health professionals (Topic)
26 Sep 2016 A pledge to fight antibiotic resistance for doctors, GPs and other health professionals