A new draft guidance document, published by the UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), warns physicians to take antimicrobial resistance (AMR) into account when prescribing antibiotics for COPD.
The healthcare body said it was providing the prescribing strategy for acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) with the aim of optimizing antibiotic use while reducing antibiotic resistance.
The guidance document cautions says that, while antibiotics should be offered to patients with a serious flare-up of COPD, other factors, including the amount or severity of symptoms, could indicate that antibiotics would not be appropriate. Only around half of severe flare ups will respond to antibiotics.
Excessive use of antibiotics in farming, and in general medical practice, is blamed for facilitating the drug resistance of bacterial strains, creating so-called ‘superbugs.’ Up to a million people each year are estimated to die from infections that are can no longer be stopped by existing antibiotics.
The draft document has been published for consultation in July, and a final guidance document will be published in due course.