Stopping perioperative antibiotics for post-tonsillectomy morbidity

NICE Quality and Productivity Case Studies
Queen's University Belfast
Publication date:
24 March 2015



NICE summary of Cochrane review conclusions

The review suggests that antibiotics, although prescribed to reduce bacterial burden post tonsillectomy and hence reduce pain and bleeding, do not in fact reduce analgesic prescription, reported pain or bleeding. Perioperative antibiotic prescription may slightly reduce fever post tonsillectomy, although the clinical benefit of this is unclear. The risk of adverse effects, such as rashes and diarrhoea was greater in patients who received antibiotics. Considering the implications for development of antibiotic resistance with increased antibiotic use and the lack of clinical benefits demonstrated by this review, routine perioperative antibiotic prescription for tonsillectomy is not recommended.