Antibiotic Treatment

The duration for an antibiotic treatment by using the antibiotics from a specified antibiotic list is a subject that has been debated for many years. Some text books advice that antibiotic treatment should be for as long as 10 days, 14 days, 4 weeks, 6 weeks or 12 months and sometimes 1-5 days on in clinic antibiotics treatment is prescribed too.  To find out whether the idea about the treatment duration is right, the choice, indication, duration for antibiotics treatment of 50 intensive care patients by giving them 150 antibiotic sequences, has been studied.

Each patient received an average of 3 antibiotic treatment sequences ranging from 1-11; providing researchers with1172 treatment days in total with various antibiotics from an antibiotic list. The most commonly used antibiotics out of the long antibiotic list, were moxicillin/clavulanic acid and ceftazidime. Treatment days were set irregularly for about 17 – 18 patients (94.4%) and they were mainly treated with amoxicillin/clavulanic acid and 18 patients out of 25 were treated with ceftazidime. The most common reason for starting antibiotic treatment for experimental purposes was the Fever of unknown origin (FUO).

Using the Antibiotics from the Antibiotic List

30 of the antibiotic treatments that were given for this symptom and 21 were given for irregular numbers of days. 95 treatments out of 149 were finished after an uneven number of treatment days. When separating short treatments from long treatments, antibiotics from the antibiotic list were given for an irregular number of days in 89 treatments and in 7 treatments from the 110 short treatment period and 40 long antibiotic treatment periods were given. By chance 28 % of the antibiotic treatment using the antibiotics from the antibiotic listwere expected to be stopped at the weekend however only 10 % of the treatments were stopped on Saturday and Sunday and also 24% were stopped on Monday.

The period of an antibiotic treatment using the antibiotics from a long antibiotic list still remains as a debatable topic. However many text books advice to treat patients for an even number of days which is generally 1 – 5 days, which is frequently preferred for short time period of antibiotictreatment. People tend to believe that even numbers 1, 3, 5... as the special numbers as accepted by Pythagora, and sometime people unintentionally believe in following an unwritten rule about numbers which makes it quite reasonable to say ‘The duration of antibiotic treatment is 5 or 7 days or multiples thereof’. Some would agree that this reflect the common idea that the treatments using antibiotics from antibiotic listshould not be stopped at the weekends. Or is there a grouping between people who believe opposite idea which is that using even numbers in antibiotic treatments is odd.