INFORMATION FOR PATIENTS

Antibiotics are medicines used to treat or prevent infections. Infections such as sepsis and meningitis are life-threatening, and antibiotics play a very important role in treatment. Like all medicines, antibiotics may cause side effects, so the risks and benefits of antibiotic therapy need to be weighed up before antibiotics are prescribed and given.

The Antimicrobial Stewardship Clinical Care Standard, developed and published by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, describes the care that patients should receive when they have, or are suspected of having, a bacterial infection. The Standard recommends:

  • When a patient has a suspected infection, they and/or their carer should receive information on their condition and treatment options
  • When a patient is prescribed antimicrobial therapy, information about when, how and for how long to take them, as well as potential side effects and a review plan, should be discussed with the patient and/or their carer.

The Clinical Excellence Commission has developed a leaflet that provides basic information to patients and carers about receiving antibiotics in a hospital environment. It is intended to be used as a counselling aid when health care professionals speak to patients who are being started on (or have recently commenced) inpatient antibiotic therapy.

Receiving Antibiotics in Hospital (A4)
Information for Patients and Carers

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Receiving Antibiotics in Hospital (D/L format)
Information for Patients and Carers

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Other Australian Resources

Sydney Children’s Hospital Network

Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick collaborated with the Clinical Excellence Commission to develop a leaflet for parents and carers. This publication is designed to facilitate the discussion about switching from intravenous to oral antibiotic therapy, promote shared decision making, and inform what parents/carers need to know before taking their child home.

NPS Medicinewise

NPS MedicineWise provide a number of resources about antibiotics for health consumers. For more details, please visit the NPS MedicineWise website.

Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care

Antimicrobial Stewardship Clinical Care Standard Consumer Fact Sheet

Antibiotic Use Patient Decision Aids