Antimicrobial prescribing guidelines for primary care in Ireland

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Antimicrobial resistance is a growing and significant threat to public health that is compromising our ability to treat infections effectively. It is widely acknowledged that antibiotic resistance is driven by high rates of antibiotic prescribing and it is critical that we work to reduce unnecessary antibiotic use. Evidence-based antimicrobial guidelines are a key tool in efforts to improve antibiotic prescribing, reduce the progression of antibiotic resistance and optimise patient outcomes.

The HSE Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control (AMRIC) Oversight Group, chaired by the Chief Clinical Officer provides organisational oversight and governance for this area of work. The work of the AMRIC Oversight Group is supported by the AMRIC Division of the Health Protection Surveillance Centre HPSC.

This community antimicrobial stewardship tool supports the implementation of:


  • To provide a simple, best guess approach to the treatment of common infections
  • To promote the safe and effective use of antibiotics
  • To minimise the emergence of bacterial resistance in the community

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Useful Links

The Summary of Products Characteristics (SPC) for any given medicinal product should be referred to as the primary reference source for information relating to that medicine. The SmPC contains the most up to date information on all licensed indications for use for any given medicine. Visit the Health Products Regulatory Authority's website for SPCs for products licensed in Ireland.

An Ireland specific medicines subscription reference the Irish Medicines Formulary (IMF) is published twice yearly in A5 Book or online

Send feedback on these guidelines to

Primary Care Antimicrobial Guidelines Editorial Group

Primary Care Antimicrobial Guidelines Expert Advisory Group and Content Contributors – Multidisciplinary group with General Practice, Microbiology Pharmacy, Public Health, Infection Control Nurse and Surveillance Scientists represented

  • Dr Nuala O’Connor, GP (Chair), GP Lead AMRIC Division of HPSC and ICGP Irish College of General Practitoners.
  • Marie Philbin, Chief Antimicrobial Pharmacist AMRIC Division HPSC.
  • Siobhan McCarthy, Web Editor, Knowledge Management, Strategic Planning & Transformation, HSE.

Alphabetical listing

  • Prof Colin Bradley ,Professor General practice UCC
  • Dr Karen Burns, Microbiologist Health Protection Surveillance Centre HPSC and Beaumount Hospital
  • Prof Martin Cormican, Microbiologist and Clinical Lead HSE Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection control Team
  • Dr Rob Cunney, Microbiologist, Health Protection Surveillance Centre
 HPSC and Temple Street Hospital
  • Sarah Clarke, Pharmacist, Programme Manager Medicines Management Programme HSE
  • Dr Padraig Creedon Dental Surgeon
  • Dr Richard Drew ,Microbiologist Rotunda and Temple Street Children’s hospital
  • Dr Aoife Fleming Pharmacist Lecturer in Clinical Pharmacy, School of Pharmacy, University College Cork University College Cork
  • Dr Fidelma Fitzpatrick, Lecturer, RCSI & Consultant Microbiologist Beaumont Hospital
  • Dr John Fitzsimmons Paediatrician, Drogheda
  • Dr Niamh Galvin, Dentist Assistant National Oral Health Lead Quality
  • Dr Joe Green Dentist National Oral Health Lead
  • Dr Minna Geisler Obstetrician and Gynaecologist Cork University Maternity Hospital
  • Dr Orla Halpenny GP ICGP Nursing Home Interest Group
  • Dr Claire Healy Dental Council of Ireland
  • Ciara Kirke, Clinical Lead, Medication Safety, Health Service Executive, Quality Improvement Division
  • Dr Fiona Lyons, Clinical Lead in Sexual Health, HSE Sexual Health and Crisis Pregnancy Programme
  • Bernie Love Antimicrobial Pharmacist Sligo
  • Dr Oonagh Molloy, Dermatology Specialist Registrar, Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda
  • Mairead Mcguire ,Chief Pharmacist Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital
  • Dr Paul Mc Donald Gp ICGP Nursing Home Interest group
  • Professor Alf Nicholoson , Paediatrician and HSE Lead Paediatric Integrated Care Programme
  • Dr Cliodhna Ni Bhuacalla Microbiologist
  • Dr Frank Ormsby Dentist
  • Dr Paula O'Leary, Clinical Immunologist, Cork University Hospital
  • Dr Deirdre O'Brien, Microbiologist, Mercy University Hospital Cork
  • Dr Sile O Connor Antimicrobial Pharmacist Kerry University Hospital
  • Dr Niamh O’Sullivan, Microbiologist, Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children, Chair RCPI Clinical Advisory Group on HCAI & AMR
  • Ajay Oza Surveillance scientist Health protection Surveillance Centre HPSC
  • Dr Anna Rose Prior Microbiologist AMNCH Adelaide and Meath Hospital Nursing Home Interest group
  • Aisling Rafferty Antimicrobial Pharmacist Temple Street Children’s Hospital
  • Una Rice Antimicrobial Pharmacist Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital
  • Dr Olive Smyth, Health Products Regulatory Authority
  • Mala Shah, Antimicrobial Pharmacist Cork University Hospital
  • Dr Mary Short ICGP Director Women’s Health
  • Dr Anne Sheehan, Department of Public Health, HSE assistant clinical Lead HSE Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection control Team
  • Dr Vincent Tormey Clinical Immunologist
  • Dr Scott Walkin GP ICGP
  • Dr Elaine Walsh, GP and Clinical Lecturer Department of General Practice University College Cork

Reviewed May 2019

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