NICE antibiotics for COPD exacerbations guideline

Coloured pills in grey hands 3x2

This concise summary covers what to be aware of when considering antimicrobials for an acute exacerbation of COPD to avoid unnecessary prescribing.

Exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can range from a mild escalation of symptoms, that can be resolved with additional inhaled medication, to severe exacerbations that require hospitalisation. Sometimes, exacerbations are the result of bacterial infections which need to managed with antibiotics, but these are not always appropriate. In order to preserve the effectiveness of antimicrobials in the long-term, knowing when to prescribe antibiotics for a COPD exacerbation and when to seek alternatives is essential to responsible care.

This NICE antimicrobial prescribing guideline, including a concise visual summary, guides the use of antibiotics for acute exacerbations of COPD, providing advice to people based on whether or not they require antibiotics and to practitioners on choosing an appropriate antibiotic when one is required.

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