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Letters Safety of reduced antibiotic prescribing

Serum procalcitonin can guide antibiotic administration for respiratory tract infections in primary care

BMJ 2016; 354 doi: (Published 05 August 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;354:i4245
  1. Alexander G Mathioudakis, academic clinical fellow in respiratory medicine1,
  2. Victoria Chatzimavridou-Grigoriadou, core medical trainee2,
  3. Efstathia Evangelopoulou, consultant respiratory physician3,
  4. George A Mathioudakis, consultant respiratory physician4
  1. 1Centre for Respiratory Medicine and Allergy, Institute of Inflammation and Repair, Wythenshawe University Hospital, University of Manchester, Manchester M23 9LT, UK
  2. 2Department of Endocrinology and Diabetes, Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester M20 4BX, UK
  3. 3Department of Respiratory Medicine, General Hospital of Nikaia “St Panteleimon,” 3 Mantouvalou St, Nikaia, Piraeus, Greece
  4. 4Athens Breath Centre, 209 Alexandras Avenue, Ampelokipoi, Athens, Greece
  1. a.mathioudakis{at}

In a large cohort study, Gulliford and colleagues assessed the safety of reduced antibiotic prescribing for self limiting respiratory tract infections (RTIs) in primary care and recommended avoiding antibiotics in patients lacking clinical features suggestive of bacterial infections.1

However, the study demonstrated an 11% increase in risk of pneumonia associated with …

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