Antibiotics are invaluable in the management of neonatal infections. However, overuse or misuse of antibiotics in neonates has been associated with adverse outcomes, including increased risk for future infection, necrotizing enterocolitis, and mortality. Strategies to optimize the use of antibiotics in the neonatal intensive care unit include practicing effective infection prevention, improving the diagnostic evaluation and empiric therapy for suspected infections, timely adjustment of therapy as additional information becomes available, and treating proven infections with an effective, narrow-spectrum agent for the minimum effective duration. Antibiotic stewardship programs provide support for these strategies but require the participation and input of neonatologists as stakeholders to be most effective.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Pharmacology (medical)