Bugs & Drugs Guide to Antimicrobial Therapy now free online for BC and Alberta prescribers

Issue: BCMJ, Vol. 59, No. 8, October 2017, page(s) 404-405 BC Centre for Disease Control
David M. Patrick, MD, FRCPC, MHSc, Edith Blondel-Hill, MD, FRCPC, Kim Dreher, RN, BScN, Tracy Monk, MD

BC physicians are familiar with Bugs & Drugs, a comprehensive guide to antimicrobial therapy and an aid to wiser antibiotic use in front-line practice. The guide was initially available as a book, subsequently as an app, and is now available free and online to prescribers in BC and Alberta at www.bugsanddrugs.org. Both the app (which remains available at www.bugsanddrugs.ca) and online guide are continually updated and all updates are peer reviewed.  

The guide offers information on antibiotics (e.g., spectrum of activity and dosing recommendations), empirical management advice (for adults and pediatrics) for 77 clinical syndromes, and a culture-directed section for endocarditis, pneumonia, meningitis, prosthetic joint infections, and peritonitis. The guide also contains recommendations for ophthalmic, fungal, and parasitic infections, surgical prophylaxis, communicable diseases, dental infections, safety of antibiotics in pregnancy, and lactation, as well as the clinical significance and empirical management of 212 potential pathogens.

Navigation from the guide’s online home page is straightforward (Figure), with the Treatment Recommendations section being the most visited.

Treatment guidance in Bugs & Drugs is informed by regional antibiograms from BC and Alberta. You can explore examples of patterns of interest through an interactive Antibiotic Resistance Dashboard (produced in collaboration by LifeLabs BC and BCCDC). You can also see patterns of antibiotic use on our Antibiotic Utilization Dashboard. Both tools are available on the BCCDC website (www.bccdc.ca/health-professionals/data-reports/antimicrobial-surveillance-tools).

Users of the Pathways website (https://pathwaysbc.ca) can also access quick links to treatment recommendations for common infections. Just type any of these terms into the Pathways search for quick point-of-care recommendations: pneumonia, sinusitis, bronchitis, conjunctivitis, otitis, urinary tract infection, or cellulitis. Pathways also contains Bugs & Drugs information for patients that can be e-mailed to them from the Pathways website during an office visit.

Pledge to fight antibiotic resistance!
This year, Antibiotic Awareness Week is 13 to 19 November. The Do Bugs Need Drugs? program and partners will be asking the public to help by pledging to use antibiotics wisely and by challenging their friends to join the effort through social media. We’re also asking physicians to make a similar pledge, designed for prescribers of antibiotics. Stay tuned, and please consider taking the pledge yourself and sharing it with your patients at www.antibioticwise.ca.
—David M. Patrick, MD, FRCPC, MHSc
—Edith Blondel-Hill, MD, FRCPC
—Kim Dreher, RN, BScN
—Tracy Monk, MD

Patient Pledge 
I pledge to use antibiotics wisely:
1. I pledge to work with my doctor to determine if my illness may be viral or bacterial and if it is bacterial, whether antibiotics are needed.
2. I pledge not to ask for antibiotics for colds or the flu, as antibiotics don’t work against cold or flu viruses.
3. I pledge to ask my doctor or pharmacist for advice on symptom relief for infections that do not need antibiotics.
4. When they are prescribed, I pledge to take antibiotics as directed by my doctor and not to share them with other people, as this would risk side effects and promote resistance. 
You can, too, at www.antibioticwise.ca!

This article is the opinion of the BC Centre for Disease Control and has not been peer reviewed by the BCMJ Editorial Board.