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According to a report published in the Annals of Internal Medicine by the American College of Physicians, there is no benefit from antibiotic treatment exceeding the shortest effective duration when treating hospitalized patients with pneumonia.

Excess days were calculated by subtracting each patient’s shortest expected treatment duration from the actual duration. From the study of 6,481 general care medical patients with pneumonia, two thirds received excess antibiotic therapy. 93.2% of the calculated excess duration was due to antibiotics prescribed at discharge.  

Excess treatment was not associated with lower rates of any adverse outcomes. There was a 5% increase in the odds of antibiotic-associated adverse events (reported by patients after discharge) for every day of excess treatment.

Read the full report here.

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