New label advice for antibiotics
- Aust Prescr 2020;43:211
- 1 December 2020
- DOI: 10.18773/austprescr.2020.072
The label attached by pharmacists to antibiotic packaging has previously advised patients to continue taking the antibiotics until they are all finished. This advice has been in line with the approved product information. However, this advice may have contributed to the excessive use of antibiotics and antibiotic resistance. There is now awareness that the required duration of treatment may need a smaller quantity of antibiotic than the pack that is supplied to the patient.1,2
In consultation with other organisations, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia has revised the cautionary advisory label used by pharmacists for antibiotics. It will now state, ‘Take for the number of days advised by your prescriber.’
As a consequence of this change there are several important messages for prescribers and pharmacists:
The new label is expected to be used from January 2021.