What should I do if a patient demands antibiotics for a viral infection?

You should only prescribe medication if you are satisfied it serves the patient's needs. It's also important to consider the wider implications of inappropriate prescribing for antibiotic resistance.

Ultimately, you do not have to provide the treatment the patient wants if it has no clinical benefit, but you will need to give your reasons and explain any other treatment options available, including their right to a second opinion.

Your practice could also produce a policy on the responsible prescribing of antibiotics to display in the practice and on your website.

This page was correct at publication on 13/01/2022. Any guidance is intended as general guidance for members only. If you are a member and need specific advice relating to your own circumstances, please contact one of our advisers.