When taking antibiotics, it is important to ensure that the therapy is not discontinued prematurely. The majority of antibiotic treatments are carried out on an outpatient basis. It often happens that the symptoms subside after only a few days.
There is a risk that patients will no longer take the medicine. Guidelines speak of a therapy duration between 7 and 21 days, depending on the disease, the pathogen and the preparation. If a patient discontinues the medication early, there is a risk that germs that have not yet been killed off will multiply quickly and lead to a new infection, which will then respond less well to the medication. At the moment, however, studies are underway to find out whether the duration of antibiotic therapy should not be shortened in general in order to reduce resistance.
Calculated antibiotic therapy
Especially in the outpatient sector, antibiotics are given without knowing the pathogen. Based on the symptoms and statistical experience, the doctor makes assumptions about the type of germ and selects an antibiotic. He usually takes a preparation that is effective against the widest possible spectrum of germs.
The probability of a hit is therefore quite high. In emergency situations, e.g. advanced pneumonia or suspected meningitis, immediate therapy is initiated in the outpatient and inpatient sectors if suspected. Here too, the exact pathogen is not known at first.
However, the emergency situation requires the fastest possible action. One speaks of a calculated antibiotic therapy. In the further course of the treatment, a blood culture is made and a so-called antibiogram is prepared.
This is a list of the germs found, with possible effective antibiotics. Only when an antibiogram is available can a targeted antibiotic therapy with direct germ treatment be started. If the germ does not respond to the administration of a broad-spectrum antibiotic in the outpatient area, an exact germ determination should also be carried out.