Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:


GPs are failing to follow national guidance on antibiotic prescribing, says study

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 07 August 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g5016

Rapid Response:

The problem with the national guidelines, certainly so far as respiratory tract infections are concerned is that they don't help the GP deal with the symptoms which can be distressing and persistent .
The sole purpose of the guidelines seems to be around,"don't use antibiotics in a self-limiting disease where complications are likely to be rare".
The symptom response to a viral upper respiratory tract infection in an individual, largely depends on that individual's constitution and will tend to be the same over the years. Symptoms can be of wheeze,cough,sputum,shortness of breath,chest discomfort and chest tightness often in combination.These can of course be extreme in an asthmatic
The pathology is inflammation of the bronchial wall and if this is treated with anti-asthma treatment including steroids,topically or even by mouth, the symptoms are likely to settle and the pressure on the GP to prescribe antibiotics will go.

Competing interests: No competing interests

22 August 2014
Rod Storring
Consultant Chest Physician
Spire Roding Hospital
Tipswain,Cole End Lane,Saffron Walden,Essex,CB10 2LJ