Short antibiotic treatment courses or how short is short?

Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2007 Nov;30 Suppl 1:S76-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2007.06.017. Epub 2007 Sep 7.


Antibiotic therapy in recent years has become more intense and more frequent. Resistance acquisition by community and hospital strains is however also increasing. One of the methods to halt the increase in resistance may be shorter courses of antibiotics, if their clinical efficacy is not impaired. Shorter courses of antibiotic therapy have been very successful in typhoid fever: 3 days; in meningococcal meningitis: a single dose to 3 days' course; ventilator-associated pneumonia: 8 days; and possibly ICU-associated infections: 3-5 days. On the contrary, IV catheter-associated infections require full treatment courses (14 days). More studies are needed in various infectious entities with various agents to be able to better define the optimal duration of therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Bacterial Infections / drug therapy*
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial
  • Drug Therapy / methods*
  • Humans
  • Time Factors


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents