NHS Antibiotic guidelines (updated 2018)

New guidelines on antibiotic use, choice of drug and dosing (including important change to paediatric prescribing) are kept up to date on new website reference source.

For use in mainly Wessex, but also Surrey Heath, Berkshire East and West, Coastal West Sussex and Oxfordshire CCGs.


These guidelines are intended to provide advice on the effective and safe treatment of infections commonly presenting in primary care (doses are for adults unless otherwise stated).

  • It's important that ALL community pharmacists are aware of these new guidelines and use them to refer to when they clinically check the appropriateness of an antibiotic prescription.
  • They provide a fuller picture and rationale about the changes in prescribing locally, especially with regard to it's variance with standard publications that pharmacists have as reference.
  • Of course, it is still each pharmacist's own clinical decision on deciding the appropriateness of any prescription that they dispense, as it is they that are held liable for any negative effect of the medication on the patient. However, as GPs will be prescribing to these guidelines, then pharmacists need to also refer to them to remove any unnecessary queries being raised with GPs as a result of the change in prescribing practice.

The new (updated) antibiotic guidelines on the following website: www.nhsantibioticguidelines.org.uk

Please note:

  • the guidelines contain a paediatric section which does use antibiotic doses at the upper limit and where possible, od or bd dosing in order to improve compliance.
  • there is further information on the rationale behind the choice of antibiotic and its respective dose up on the website which you may find helpful.
  • it is recommended that you always check the PDF each time 'on-line' rather than downloading it to act as a future reference source in your pharmacy. The PDF will be updated as necessary and so will always reflect the most current guidance.