Intended for healthcare professionals


Effectiveness of discontinuing antibiotic treatment after three days versus eight days in mild to moderate-severe community acquired pneumonia: randomised, double blind study

BMJ 2006; 332 doi: (Published 08 June 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:1355

Turning point in antibiotic therapy?

This article throws up very interesting challenges to both
researchers as well as clinicians. Traditionally antibiotics have been
prescribed for 5-7 days even for the most trivial infections. Generations
of medical students have grown up with the information that curtailing the
antibiotic course midway would lead to antibiotic resistance.

In developing countries, the rising cost of medical treatment has
been a major concern among clinicians. The latest antibiotics introduced
in the market are exorbitantly priced. In countries like India where the
government regulates prices of drugs the scene is much better.

More data is required to establish whether a three-day course of
antibiotics is sufficient to treat common infections. If researchers are
able to establish this fact convincingly it will be a turning point in
antibiotic prescriptions the world over. Besides lowering costs it would
also reduce the unnecessary exposure to drugs in an exceedingly polluted

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

12 June 2006
Rajan TD
Consultant Skin & Sex Transm Diseases, Andheri 0091-22-66982747
CMPH Medical College, Mumbai, India