Newly approved antibiotics and antibiotics reserved for resistant infections: Implications for emergency medicine

Maryann Mazer-Amirshahi, Ali Pourmand, Larissa May
American Journal of Emergency Medicine 2017, 35 (1): 154-158
Millions of patients are evaluated every year in the emergency department (ED) for bacterial infections. Emergency physicians often diagnose and prescribe initial antibiotic therapy for a variety of bacterial infections, ranging from simple urinary tract infections to severe sepsis. In life-threatening infections, inappropriate choice of initial antibiotic has been shown to increase morbidity and mortality. As such, initiation of appropriate antibiotic therapy on the part of the emergency physician is critical. Increasing rates of antibiotic resistance, drug allergies, and antibiotic shortages further complicates the choice of antibiotics. Patients may have a history of prior resistant infections or culture data indicating that common first-line antibiotics used in the ED may be ineffective. In recent years, there have been several new antibiotic approvals as well as renewed interest in second and third line antibiotics because of the aforementioned concerns. In addition, several newly approved antibiotics have the advantage of being administered once weekly or even as a single infusion, which has the potential to decrease hospitalizations and healthcare costs. This article reviews newly approved antibiotics and antibiotics used to treat resistant infections with a focus on implications for emergency medicine.

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