Antibiotics for acute bronchitis

JAMA. 2014 Dec 24-31;312(24):2678-9. doi: 10.1001/jama.2014.12839.


Clinical question: Are antibiotics associated with improved outcomes in patients with acute bronchitis?

Bottom line: Prescribing antibiotics for acute bronchitis was associated with reduced overall and nighttime cough and with an approximately half-day reduction in duration of cough, in days feeling ill, and in days with impaired activities. However, at follow-up, there were no significant differences in patients receiving antibiotics compared with those receiving placebo in overall clinical improvements or limitations in work or other activities. There was a significant increase in adverse effects in the antibiotic group, particularly gastrointestinal symptoms.

Publication types

  • Comment

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Bronchitis / drug therapy*
  • Humans


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents