The recommendations include a limited role for levofloxacin. Photo: iStock

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and Public Health England (PHE) have published their final antimicrobial prescribing guidance on pneumonia.

The two new guidelines, one on community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) and the other on hospital-acquired pneumonia (HAP), aim to optimise antibiotic use and reduce antibiotic resistance by establishing an antimicrobial prescribing strategy.

Both types of pneumonia, according to the guidance, can be life-threatening. New recommendations highlight the importance of starting antibiotic treatment as soon as possible – no more than four hours after diagnosis and one hour if sepsis is suspected.

Every year, around 220,000 people are diagnosed with pneumonia. The latest guidance is an update to the December 2014 NICE guidance on pneumonia in adults: diagnosis and management.

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