Antimicrobial Stewardship

Misuse and overuse of antimicrobials is one of the world’s most pressing public health problems. Antibiotics save lives but poor prescribing practices are putting patients at unnecessary risk for preventable allergic reactions, super-resistant infections, and deadly diarrhea. Errors in prescribing decisions also contribute to antibiotic resistance, making these drugs less likely to work in the future.

As a response to these challenges, antimicrobial stewardship programs were created. Antimicrobial stewardship promotes the appropriate use of antimicrobials (including antibiotics), improves patient outcomes, reduces microbial resistance, and decreases the spread of infections caused by multidrug-resistant organisms. Antimicrobial stewardship interventions have been proven to improve individual patient outcomes, reduce the overall burden of antibiotic resistance, and save health care dollars.

The major objectives of antimicrobial stewardship are to achieve optimal clinical outcomes related to antimicrobial use, minimize toxicity and other adverse events, and limit the selection for antimicrobial resistant strains. Antimicrobial stewardship may also reduce excessive costs attributable to suboptimal antimicrobial use.

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