Antibiotics are one of the most common therapies administered in the intensive care unit setting. In addition to treating infections, antibiotic use contributes to the emergence of resistance among pathogenic microorganisms. Therefore, avoiding unnecessary antibiotic use and optimizing the administration of antimicrobial agents will help to improve patient outcomes while minimizing further pressures for resistance. This review will present several strategies aimed at achieving optimal use of antimicrobial agents. It is important to note that each intensive care unit should have a program in place which monitors antibiotic utilization and its effectiveness. Only in this way can the impact of interventions aimed at improving antibiotic use (e.g. antibiotic rotation, de-escalation therapy) be evaluated at the local level.
- Intensive care