Antimicrobial Stewardship in Primary Care

We promote and support antimicrobial stewardship to improve and optimize antimicrobial therapy and clinical outcomes for patients in primary care. In Canada, it has been estimated over 90% of antibiotics dispensed are used in the community. Antimicrobial stewardship promotes the judicious use of antimicrobials to limit the development of antimicrobial resistant organisms.

PHO recognizes the growing interest and activity in antimicrobial stewardship in primary care. We offer our new resources to encourage antimicrobial stewardship in that setting. For more information see frequently asked questions or contact


Strategies to Reduce Antibiotic Overuse in Primary Care

Up to 50% of antibiotics prescribed to patients in the community are either inappropriate or unnecessary. The following evidence-based antimicrobial stewardship strategies can be implemented to help curb antibiotic overuse and help mitigate antibiotic resistance, side effects, and C. difficile infection.

Let's talk antibiotics

In a number of common respiratory tract infections, antibiotics have minimal to no benefit and can cause considerable harm. This series of evidence-based tools encourage patients to talk to their health care providers about the benefits and harms of antibiotic therapy for bronchitis, pharyngitis, sinusitis, and otitis media. They are intended to supplement clinician-patient counseling and to facilitate a shared decision making conversation, a communication strategy that has been shown to reduce unnecessary antibiotic use in primary care. 

Resources to Support Appropriate Antibiotic Prescribing

Appropriate prescribing of antibiotics is crucial in reducing antimicrobial resistance. The following evidence-based resources were developed to support appropriate antibiotic prescribing in primary care, including prescribing by community pharmacists.

Chat icon

Contact the Department

Updated 9 May 2019