Category Antimicrobial

Piperacillin+tazobactam shortage – recommended alternatives – HNELHD

SITUATION Due to a global shortage, many Hunter New England Local Health District sites have low supplies of piperacillin+tazobactam with shortages likely until after September. It is essential that further use of this agent is conserved as below.  Amoxycillin+clavulanate is now available in a parenteral form and is a suitable option in many circumstances, contingent on local […]

Nitroimidazoles: metronidazole, tinidazole – recent succinct overview

Guest post: Dr Rod Givney, Pathology North Microbiologist.   How well do you know these commonly used drugs, their pros and cons?  Here is an up-to-date overview prepared for our advanced trainee tutorial series. Nitroimidazoles overview 2017 Givney.

The old antibiotics are still useful – Fosfomycin

The Special Access Scheme (SAS) allows practitioners to import/gain access to therapeutic goods currently not registered on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG) for a single patient on a case by case basis. Fosfomycin (one such SAS drug) is a broad spectrum antibiotic belonging to the phosphonic acid derivative drug class (other examples in this drug class include foscarnet and adefovir).

Q10 – Remembering antibiotics and their classes

Our JMO pre-test survey also asked “What puzzles you about antibiotics and their use”. A recurring theme was concern about remembering the various classes and names of antibiotics. Here are some useful pointers and a short quiz ! 

Q2 Understanding antibiotic resistance and Staphylococcus aureus

Q2 in our JMO pre-test asked: “What is the main mechanism by which the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus becomes resistant to penicillin?” We gave alternatives enumerating basic mechanisms that micro-organisms use (often in combination) to become resistant to an antimicrobial agent (graphic below).   Production of penicillinase (i.e. inactivation by a type of beta-lactamase) was the correct answer– more […]

Antibiotic classes – why so important to know about them?

The antibiotic knowledge survey of our new interns this week,  showed that many were confused about which class vancomycin (a glycopeptide) fell into (30% thought it was an aminoglycoside).  This is a potentially dangerous confusion as the dosing, side effects and monitoring all differ substantially between these classes: Aminoglycoside Glycopeptide Indicative agents Gentamicin Vancomycin Dosing […]

How well do you know antibiotic interactions? Complete our AAW quiz!

Antibiotics are consistently and widely used in almost all areas of clinical healthcare in Australia with 38% of hospital patients being treated with a microbial on any given day (2014) and 46% of the general population being dispensed at least one systemic antimicrobial prescription in the community (2014-2015).   Do you think you’ve got a […]

Penicillin ‘allergy’ and safety of third generation cephalosporins (ceftriaxone)

A frequent issue is deciding whether a patient with a “penicillin allergy” can safely be given a cephalosporin antibiotic – what is the real risk of cross reaction and is it much less for third generation agents such as ceftriaxone? A recent publication in Prescriber Update from Medsafe New Zealand succinctly analyses cross-reactivity amongst beta-lactam antibiotics in the light […]

Be Medicinewise Week – Take Charge!

This year during Be Medicinewise week the National Prescribing Service (NPS) is encouraging clinicians to promote Australians taking charge of their health by being medicinewise, and raising awareness on the importance of having conversations about medicines. Be Medicinewise week (last week!) suggested clinicians ask patients to keep in mind 3 key pieces of advice to take control […]

Is it cellulitis? The case of itchy red legs

66 year old woman with 12 month history of itchy red  legs. She dated the start of the problem from an excision of a skin lesion from the left shin.  She notes persistent redness occurring over both lower legs, more marked on the left side, and this has been associated with marked itchiness after showering. […]