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Chapter 4. Dosing to Cure > Treatment Strategies Have Been Determined Empirical...

Treatment Strategies Have Been Determined Empirically

We can each recall our physician telling us to “Try this or that, and see how it works.” Often, the remedy did work. This strategy, called empiric therapy, is based on trial and error. Guidelines published by the Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA) and comparable European organizations help in the decision, as do local surveillance studies. Indeed, the physician’s guess can be quite accurate if symptoms are distinct or if a particular illness is spreading through the community. Hospital-based clinical microbiology laboratories assist in decision making by providing access to their susceptibility data (antibiograms). When a bacterial infection is suspected, the physician improves the chances of successful treatment by using a broad-spectrum agent, one that is active against a wide variety of bacterial species. Consequently, pharmaceutical companies have focused their efforts on finding and supplying broad-spectrum antibiotics.


  

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