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How to screen an antibiotic prescription

You are new to the ward and many of your patients are prescribed antibiotics. Here are some tips to help you check the therapy is apt

By Nick Cooley, DipClinPharm, MRPharmS

Antibiotic prescription

In short

With bacterial resistance remaining problematic and few new drugs being developed, antibiotics pose various clinical and pharmaceutical challenges.

Pharmacists encounter prescriptions for these medicines on a regular basis and, in each case, should ensure that there is a clear rationale for antibiotic use and that the therapy chosen is likely to be safe and effective.

Nick Cooley
is lead clinical pharmacist, anti-infectives, at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

Email: [email protected]

NOTE Clinical Pharmacist PRACTICE TOOLS do not constitute formal practice guidance. Articles in the series have been commissioned from independent authors who have summarised useful clinical skills.


Useful clinical skills are described in this Clinical Pharmacist series. Comments on this or other articles are welcomed in the form of personal back to the editor or correspondence to Clinical Pharmacist. Pharmacists who have ideas for the series or wish to write an article are invited to the editor.

Email: [email protected]

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7572 2425


Citation: Clinical Pharmacist URI: 11012936

Readers' comments (2)

  • Hi

    Could you kindly upload the PDF please?


    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Dear Maryam, we no longer upload PDFs of the files, since we are following a digital first model and articles are published online long before they are published in print. However, you can easily print the articles if you wish, by clicking on the print icon on the right side of the article. You can even print it to a PDF file.

  • Dear Folk,
    Sadly, all I get when I try to print is a screenshot and not the original article. This is not a lot of use! Is the original article no longer available or is this an overlooked glitch?
    We want to direct pharmacists on a postgrad course to read this article but if it isn't available we'll have to look elswhere.
    David Scott

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

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