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Antibiotic failure Assessment Questionnaire

Questions Your Doctor May Ask - and Why!

During a consultation, your doctor will use various techniques to assess the symptom: Antibiotic failure. These will include a physical examination and possibly diagnostic tests. (Note: A physical exam is always done, diagnostic tests may or may not be performed depending on the suspected condition) Your doctor will ask several questions when assessing your condition. It is important to openly share any pertinent information to help your doctor make an accurate diagnosis.

It is also very important to bring an up-to-date list of all of your all medical conditions, medications including dosages, and names of numbers of any specialist you see.

Create your printable checklist by answering questions that your doctor may ask below:

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  1. Was the infection acquired in hospital or in the community?

    Why: resistance to antibiotics is more common in hospital acquired infections.

  2. What antibiotic did you take?

    Why: to establish if choice of agent was appropriate for illness.

  3. What was the dose of the antibiotic?

    Why: to determine if dose prescribed and taken was adequate (especially relevant in children as dosage depends on weight).

  4. Did you take the full course of antibiotics?

    Why: some people may stop a course of antibiotics before the course is complete due to resolution of symptoms or side effects from the antibiotic. This can cause treatment failure, relapse of symptoms and increased resistance of the bacteria to the antibiotic. Some infections need prolonged courses of antibiotics e.g. chronic sinusitis.

  5. Did you miss any doses?
  6. Did your illness improve completely and then recur?

    Why: may indicate recurrence of infection as compared to resistance to antibiotic e.g. re-infection with Chlamydia from sexual partner if sexual partner is not treated appropriately; immunocompromised person is at risk of frequent infections; structural factors that predispose to recurrent infections e.g. allergy causing chronic sinusitis, eustachian tube dysfunction causing acute otitis media.

  7. Was a specimen sample taken for culture before starting the antibiotics

    Why: e.g. urine for urinary tract infection, sputum for chest infection , wound swab for wound infection? - Important in determining the sensitivity of the bacteria to the chosen antibiotic.

  8. Can you tell me exactly which antibiotics you were prescribed?

    Why: If you have experienced antibiotic failure and recurrence of illness, then it is important for your health professional to know exactly what treatment didn't work last time. If you experienced any unpleasant side effects then it is important that you mention them as well.

  9. Can you tell me about how you took the medication, for how long, when you stopped taking them and why?

    Why: As an information collecting exercise, your health professional may try to gather as much information as possible before formulating a new management plan. They may need to know how you took your antibiotics as there are many different formulations for different types of antibiotic. They may need to know how long you took the medication as many people do not complete the full prescribed course of antibiotics. The importance of fully completing all prescribed courses of antibiotics (where no objective side effects have been experienced) cannot be stressed enough. When you finished taking the medication is important as well, as your current illness may not be a recurrence but rather a whole new one. In general, the exact history of your antibiotic medication is important in formulating a new management strategy for your illness.

  10. Do you take any other regular medications?

    Why: Some medications can interact with antibiotics and make them less effective. Some medications can also potentiate antibiotic side effects.

  11. Do you have any other illnesses, such as any liver problems (hepatic dysfunction), kidney problems (renal failure/renal dysfunction), blood problems, or gastrointestinal disease?

    Why: Other illnesses, particularly chronic ones, can impact upon the way in which prescribed medications (such as antibiotics) work. Even if you do not think that it is relevant then it is important for you to tell your health professional of any other health issues you may have.

  12. Has this illness recurrence been any different from the first/last time that you experienced it, i.e., before antibiotics were prescribed?

    Why: This may help to differentiate if you are indeed suffering a recurrence of infective illness, or in fact you are suffering a whole new one. Additionally, the infection may have been temporarily abated whilst you were taking antibiotics but has now spread or changed.

  13. Have you recently been in any hospitals, as either a patient or visitor?

    Why: Healthcare facilities can have a downside in that they group together many people with illnesses in one place. As a result some infectious agents have developed resistance to some treatments, and if you have an infective illness as a result of one of these agents then you may experience antibiotic failure.

  14. Has anyone you live with, or any of your close friends/family been ill recently?

    Why: You may have unknowingly been re-caught the illness for which you were treated and your health professional may ask this question to investigate that possibility. Additionally, you may have a completely separate and new illness as a consequence of contact with ill family/friends/housemates.

  15. Full history of illness from the start

    Why: to help determine if illness is Viral or fungal and thus would not benefit from the use of antibiotic.

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Antibiotic failure:

The following list of conditions have 'Antibiotic failure' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Antibiotic failure or choose View All.


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