Clin-Star corner: What's new at the interface of geriatrics, infectious diseases, and antimicrobial stewardship

Antibiotics are among the leading causes of adverse drug events in older adults. Short-course antibiotic therapy has been shown to work as well as the traditional longer durations for many types of infections. Antibiotic stewardship interventions including deprescribing strategies have shown a reduction in patient readmissions and mortality among older adults. We identified practice-changing clinical trials focusing on three major domains of overprescribing antibiotics in older adults – community-acquired pneumonia, urinary tract infections, and gram-negative bacteremia. The selected articles underscore the safety and effectiveness of shorter durations of antibiotic treatment for infections in older adults, thus highlighting an opportunity for deprescribing in the aging population. By optimizing antibiotic use, we stand to reduce adverse events and enhance overall health outcomes in older adults.

This article was published in Journal of American Geriatrics Society.