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Review: delayed or immediate prescriptions of antibiotics have similar clinical outcomes in respiratory infections

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G Spurling

Dr G Spurling, Royal Brisbane Hospital, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia;



in patients with respiratory infections, how does prescription of delayed antibiotics (ABs) compare with immediate or no ABs?

Search methods:

Medline (1966 to January 2007), EMBASE/Excerpta Medica (1990–2007), The Cochrane Library (Issue 4, 2006), Current Contents—ISI Web of Knowledge (1998 to January 2007), and bibliographies of relevant studies.

Study selection and assessment:

randomised controlled trials (RCTs) in any language comparing prescriptions of delayed ABs (>48 h) with that of immediate or no ABs for acute respiratory tract infections (included otitis media, common cold, or sore throat) in patients of any age. Quality assessment of individual studies was measured on an 11-point scale based on criteria that included randomisation, allocation concealment, comparability of intervention groups, blinding, follow-up, and intention to treat analysis; scores ⩾6 indicate high quality. 9 RCTs …

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  • Source of funding: General Practice Education and Training Australia.