There is growing concern about the increasing rates of resistance among human pathogens. These high rates of resistance, which are a consequence of antibiotic misuse, highlight the need for a thorough revision of strategies that deal with the proper use of antibiotics. The so-called 'optimal use of all antibiotics', restriction guidelines and use of a combination of antibiotics are well established strategies in most hospitals but new potential strategies, such as dosage optimization and antibiotic cycling, require further study and evaluation. Cycling antibiotic therapy consists of the scheduled replacement of one antibiotic for another, in order to avoid the development of bacterial resistance. Initial studies suggest that this strategy could be useful in reducing the rates of bacterial resistance as well as the incidence of nosocomial infections caused by Gram-negative bacilli in intensive care unit patients. This strategy, however, does not prevent antibiotic misuse and needs to be applied in a complete antibiotic policy program.