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Review: delaying a prescription reduces antibiotic use in upper respiratory tract infections

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 Q In patients with upper respiratory tract infections, is delaying a prescription effective for reducing antibiotic use?

Clinical impact ratings GP/FP/Primary care ★★★★★☆☆


Embedded ImageData sources:

Medline (1966 to April 2003), EMBASE/Excerpta Medica, the Cochrane Controlled Trials Register, and researchers in the field.

Embedded ImageStudy selection and assessment:

randomised controlled trials (RCTs) or clinical controlled trials (published in any language) that compared a delayed with an immediate antibiotic prescription for patients of any age with upper respiratory tract infections. Upper respiratory tract infections included acute cough, sore throats, otitis media, the common cold, and sinusitis. Study quality was assessed using the Jadad scale.

Embedded ImageOutcomes:

Use, consumption, or filling of the prescription and any reported side effects.


4 RCTs (950 patients) and 1 clinical controlled …

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  • For correspondence: Dr B Arroll, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.

  • Source of funding: no external funding.