Stop using Augmentin. Bring back the Augmentin-free office

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Goodfellow Gems

Stop using Augmentin. Bring back the Augmentin-free office 

The only first-line indications for Augmentin are human/animal bites or diabetic foot ulcers (with cellulitis), yet there were over 400,000 prescriptions for Augmentin in 2017 (12% of the population).1 The good news is that  use has reduced from 14% to 12% since 2015, a reduction of 61,000 people. However, DHB variation is greater than two-fold, ranging from 8 to 17%

Many conditions, including COPD exacerbations, Sinusitis, Acute otitis media and Strep throat (in most areas) can be managed without antibiotics. Where antibiotics are indicated, Amoxicillin is the first-line antibiotic for community-acquired pneumonia and prophylaxis of infective endocarditis prior to invasive dental procedure.2

Consider running an 'Augmentin-free office' where you must get a colleague’s permission to prescribe Augmentin. It really slows things down and results in better prescribing (some of the recommendations have changed since 2007).3 


  1. Community use of antibiotics. Health Quality and Safety Commission Click here
  2. Antibiotics: choices for common infections. bpacnz (2017) Click here
  3. Upfront: The Augmentin-free office.  bpacnz (2007) Click here

Gems are chosen by the Goodfellow director Dr. Bruce Arroll to be either practice changing or practice maintaining. The information is educational and not clinical advice.

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As published in NZ Doctor 31/07/2019