Evid Based Nurs 7:75 doi:10.1136/ebn.7.3.75
  • Treatment

Review: delaying a prescription reduces antibiotic use in upper respiratory tract infections

 Q In patients with upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs), is delaying a prescription effective for reducing antibiotic use?


GraphicData sources:

Medline (1966 to April 2003), EMBASE/Excerpta Medica, the Cochrane Controlled Trials Register, and researchers in the field.

GraphicStudy selection and assessment:

randomised controlled trials (RCTs) or clinical controlled trials (published in any language) that compared delayed and immediate antibiotic prescription for patients of any age with URTIs. URTIs included acute cough, sore throat, otitis media, the common cold, and sinusitis. Study quality was assessed using the Jadad scale.


use, consumption, or filling of prescriptions; and reported side effects.


4 RCTs (950 patients) and 1 clinical controlled trial met the selection criteria. All of the RCTs had Jadad scores …

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