Rational medicine use in neonates implies the prescription and administration of age-appropriate drug formulations, selecting the most efficacious and safe dose, all based on accurate information on the drug and its indications in neonates. This review illustrates that important uncertainties still exist concerning the different aspects (when, what, how) of rational antibiotic use in neonates. Decisions when to prescribe antibiotics are still not based on robust decision tools. Choices (what) on empiric antibiotic regimens should depend on the anticipated pathogens, and the available information on the efficacy and safety of these drugs. Major progress has been made on how (beta-lactam antibiotics, aminoglycosides, vancomycin, route and duration) to dose. Progress to improve rational antibiotic use necessitates further understanding of neonatal pharmacology (short- and long-term safety, pharmacokinetics, duration and route) and the use of tailored tools and smarter practices (biomarkers, screening for colonization, and advanced therapeutic drug monitoring techniques). Implementation strategies should not only facilitate access to knowledge and guidelines, but should also consider the most effective strategies (‘skills’) and psychosocial aspects involved in the prescription process: we should be aware that both the decision not to prescribe as well as the decision to prescribe antibiotics is associated with risks and benefits.

Additional Metadata
Keywords newborn, rational drug use, antibiotics, safety, stewardship
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.3390/healthcare7010028, hdl.handle.net/1765/127156
Journal Healthcare
Anker, J., & Allegaert, K.M. (2019). Rational Use of Antibiotics in Neonates: Still in Search of Tailored Tools. Healthcare, 7(1). doi:10.3390/healthcare7010028