Background: In 2000, the first national guideline is on antibiotic use in general practice wee distributed to all general practitioners and medical students in Norway. Here we describe the development of new guidelines.
Material and methods: A working group of 30 people searched relevant databases for literature. We have especially used research from Norway and from general practice and nursing homes.
Results: The main recommendations of the 2000 guidelines are upheld. For upper respiratory tract infections there is now an even better evidence base to support strict indications for antibiotic treatment.
Interpretation: A good evidence base supports continuation of the Norwegian tradition of prudent antibiotic use in primary health care. In some areas there is insufficient research. After an initiative from the Directorate of Health, the Antibiotic Centre for Primary Medicine have developed the new guidelines as a part of the governmental strategy to combat antimicrobial resistance. Prudent antibiotic use is seen as an important measure. For this reason, the guidelines will also be printed in a booklet that will be sent to general practitioners, medical students and nursing homes.