The “complete the course” message has persisted despite not being supported by evidence and previous arguments that it should be replaced.1838 One reason it may be so resilient is that it is simple and unambiguous, and the behaviour it advocates is clearly defined and easy to carry out. Nevertheless, there is evidence that, in many situations, stopping antibiotics sooner is a safe and effective way to reduce antibiotic overuse. Daily review of the continued need for antibiotics is a cornerstone of antibiotic stewardship in hospitals,39 but in primary care, where 85% of antibiotic prescriptions are written, no such ongoing assessment is attempted.

posted by veen: 60 days ago