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Antibiotics to treat foot infections in people with diabetes

We reviewed the effects on resolution of infection and safety of antibiotics given orally or intravenously (directly into the blood system) in people with diabetes that have a foot infection.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2015

Comparing different types of antibiotics given routinely to women at caesarean section to prevent infections

Women undergoing caesarean section have an increased likelihood of infection compared with women who give birth vaginally. These infections can be in the urine, surgical incision, or the lining of the womb (endometritis). The infections can become serious, causing, for example, an abscess in the pelvis or infection in the blood, and very occasionally can lead to the mother's death. Sound surgical techniques are important for reducing infections, along with skin antiseptics and antibiotics. However, antibiotics can cause adverse effects such as nausea, vomiting, skin rash and rarely allergic reactions in the mother, and the risk of thrush (candida) for the mother and the baby. Antibiotics, given to women around the time of giving birth, can also change the baby's gut flora and thus may interfere with the baby's developing immune system.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2014

Antibiotic regimens for postpartum endometritis

Intravenous clindamycin plus gentamicin is more effective than other antibiotics or combinations of antibiotics for treatment of womb infection after childbirth.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2016

Antimicrobial drugs for treating methicillin‐resistant Staphylococcus aureus colonization

Staphylococcus aureus is a bacterium that can cause serious infections. Methicillin‐resistant S. aureus (MRSA) refers to strains of S. aureus that are resistant to many antibiotics including the penicillins. Hospital infection control staff want to limit the spread of MRSA for several reasons and one of the ways of doing this is to use either topical or oral antimicrobial drugs in an attempt to eradicate MRSA from individuals who are colonized. However there is insufficient evidence to support the use of topical or oral antimicrobial therapy for eradicating nasal or extra‐nasal MRSA. No one type of treatment either topical or oral or a combinations of both showed a superior effect. Potentially serious adverse events and development of antimicrobial resistance can result from therapy.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2008

A single beta lactam antibiotic versus a beta lactam‐aminoglycoside combination for patients with severe infection

Infections caused by bacteria and requiring hospitalization are a leading cause of preventable death. The beta lactam antibiotics (e.g. penicillins, cephalosporins) and the aminoglycosides (e.g. gentamicin) kill bacteria by different means. Combining a beta lactam with an aminoglycoside could, therefore, result in more effective treatment of patients with severe infection but with the side effects of both antibiotics. We reviewed clinical trials that compared intravenous treatment with a beta lactam versus treatment with a beta lactam plus an aminoglycoside.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2014

Different antibiotics for community‐acquired pneumonia in otherwise healthy children younger than 18 years of age in hospital and outpatient settings

Pneumonia is the leading cause of mortality in children under five years of age. Most cases of community‐acquired pneumonia (CAP) in low‐income countries are caused by bacteria. This systematic review identified 29 randomised controlled trials from many different countries enrolling 14,188 children and comparing antibiotics for treatment of CAP in children. Most were single studies only.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2013

Antibiotics for gonorrhoea in pregnancy

Pregnant women with gonorrhoea who take penicillin, spectinomycin or ceftriaxone are much less likely to show signs of infection.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2014

Antibiotics for preventing meningococcal infections

Meningococcal disease is a contagious bacterial disease caused by the bacteria Neisseria meningitidis (N.meningitidis) with high fatality rates: up to 15% for infection of the central nervous system (meningitis) and up to 50% to 60% among patients with blood stream infection and shock; up to 15% of survivors are left with severe neurological deficits. People who have had close contact with someone who has a meningococcal infection and populations with known high carriage rates are offered antibiotics in order to eradicate the bacteria and thus prevent disease.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2013

Testing newborn babies for sickle cell diseases

Sickle cell diseases are inherited and affect mainly people of African origin. The red blood cells are abnormally (sickle) shaped, which can lead to life‐threatening complications. They are most likely to be fatal in the first few years of life since affected children are at higher risk of serious infections. Regular antibiotics and immunisations reduce the risk of infections, and if sickle status is known, can be started early. Screening babies allows early diagnosis and therefore early treatment. Screening may also have disadvantages. This review aims to assess whether screening compared to diagnosis from symptoms leads to less morbidity and mortality. The authors were not able to find trials that assessed the benefits and harms of screening. There is evidence that starting treatment early is of benefit. Early treatment is made possible by screening in the neonatal period. There are some reports in non‐trial literature which suggest that newborn screening is appropriate based on currently available evidence. Healthcare providers must assess whether these reports are relevant to their practice and situation when deciding whether to screen for SCD in the neonatal period. Practice recommendations could be made from the results of a prospective randomised controlled trial. Such a trial may be thought to be unethical given the proven benefit of early preventative treatment of children with penicillin. There are no trials included in the review and we have not identified any relevant trials up to July 2008. We therefore do not plan to update this review until new trials are published.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2010

Antibiotics at the time of cataract surgery to prevent acute endophthalmitis after surgery

Endophthalmitis (inflammation of the inside of the eyeball due to infection or trauma) is a rare but potentially blinding complication of cataract surgery. It typically is caused by bacteria that enter the eye during surgery or in the first few days after surgery. Multiple preventive measures are used to try to prevent infection after surgery. Several studies have investigated different modes of prevention such as the types of antibiotics used, how the antibiotics are applied or taken, and when the antibiotics are given in the surgical process.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2013

The effects of antibiotics on toothache caused by inflammation or infection at the root of the tooth in adults

This review, carried out by authors of the Cochrane Oral Health Group, has been produced to assess the effects of antibiotics on pain and swelling in two conditions commonly responsible for causing dental pain when given with or without dental treatment (such as extraction, drainage of a swelling or root canal treatment).

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2014

Antibiotic therapy for treatment of infective endocarditis

We aimed to assess the existing evidence about the clinical benefits and harms of different antibiotics regimens used to treat people with infective endocarditis.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2016

Penicillamine for treating rheumatoid arthritis

Penicillamine is a penicillin derived compound. Studies showed that this could be used to treat rheumatoid arthritis originally in 1950. It was frequently used in the past, but its use has declined with the increasing use of other disease modifying anti‐rheumatic drugs (DMARDs), such as methotrexate. The purpose of this summary was to find out if penicillamine is helpful in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2011

What are microbes?

Microbes are tiny forms of life that are found all around us. The most common kinds are bacteria, viruses and fungi.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: January 15, 2015

Prophylactic antibiotics to reduce morbidity and mortality in neonates with umbilical venous catheters

There is insufficient evidence from randomised trials to either support or refute the routine use of preventive antibiotics in newborn babies with umbilical vein catheters. Sick newborn babies occasionally require the insertion of an umbilical vein catheter (a special tube) that goes into the vein in the umbilicus (belly button). This allows fluid and medicines to be given. Some people believe that antibiotics should be given to all babies with umbilical vein catheters in order to reduce the chance of infection occurring. However, antibiotics can have unwanted effects. The reviewers found insufficient evidence to either support or refute the routine use of antibiotics for all babies with umbilical vein catheters.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2011

A comparison of single and combined intravenous drug therapy for people with cystic fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis is a serious genetic disease that affects cells in the exocrine glands (sweat glands and others). People with cystic fibrosis have a greater risk of chronic lung infections. They receive antibiotics by injection to treat these. The antibiotics are either a single drug or a combination of drugs. Both the choice of antibiotic and the use of single or combined therapy vary. We looked for randomised controlled trials which compared a single intravenous antibiotic with a combination of that antibiotic plus one other in people with cystic fibrosis. We included eight trials with a total of 356 people. Six of these were published before 1988. They were single centre trials with poor methodological quality. A range of drugs was used in the trials. This made it difficult to combine and analyse the results. We did not find any differences between the two therapies for lung function, symptom scores, adverse effects or bacteriological outcome measures. We conclude that there is not enough evidence to compare the different therapies. More research is needed, particularly for adverse effects.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2014

Chinese medicinal herbs for sore throat

Sore throat is a widespread acute respiratory tract illness which affects all age groups. In China, many Chinese herbal medicines are used to treat this illness. Because the majority of clinical research into traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) as a treatment for sore throat failed to meet world standards of clinical research reporting, the authors could not recommend any preparation or formulation for clinical use in the previous published version.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2012

Prolonged antibiotics for purulent bronchiectasis in children and adults

Non‐cystic fibrosis (CF) bronchiectasis is a chronic respiratory condition characterised by abnormal dilatation of the airways. Although its global prevalence is largely unknown, available data from Australia, New Zealand, the United States and England show that bronchiectasis is now diagnosed with increasing frequency. The lungs of patients with bronchiectasis have excessive secretions, which tend to consist of different types of micro‐organisms. Long‐term antibiotic therapy was proposed to halt persistent and ongoing damage to the lung due to insult from micro‐organisms. Therefore, we seek to assess the effects of prolonged antibiotic therapy on patients with bronchiectasis.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2015

What kinds of allergy tests are there?

Various tests can be used to find out what kind of substance is causing an allergic reaction: skin tests, blood tests and challenge tests. Your doctor will usually decide which test to use based on your description of the symptoms and your medical history.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: April 20, 2016

Antibiotics for the prevention of lower respiratory tract infections in children at high risk aged 12 years and under

We reviewed the evidence for antibiotics to prevent bacterial lower respiratory tract infections (LRTI) in children aged 12 years and under who are at increased chance of contracting such infections.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2015

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