• Nazedah Ain Ibrahim Faculty of Pharmacy, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Jalan Raja Muda Abdul Aziz, 50300 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
  • Mohd Makmor Bakry Faculty of Pharmacy, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Jalan Raja Muda Abdul Aziz, 50300 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
  • Shareena Ishak Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Jalan Yaacob Latiff, 56000 Bandar Tun Razak, Cheras, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
  • Noraida Mohamed Shah Faculty of Pharmacy, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Jalan Raja Muda Abdul Aziz, 50300 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


Objective: Suspected early-onset sepsis is a common diagnosis among neonates which warrants admission to the neonatal intensive care unit. Prolonged empiric antibiotic is the biggest concern and treatment duration is still controversial. Antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) program promotes early antibiotic de-escalation to reduce unnecessary antibiotic exposure and its implementation in the intensive care setting seems to be feasible. The primary objective of this review was to compare the existing guidelines and review the literature regarding choice and duration of empiric antibiotic in managing suspected early-onset neonatal sepsis.

Methods: Two Malaysian Ministry of Health guidelines were compared with guidelines from America (n=1), Australia (n=1), and United Kingdom (n=2). The literature search was conducted from January to June 2017 through open access journal and databases available at the author’s institution library (EBSCOHost, Ovid and Science Direct).

Results: All guidelines recommended similar antibiotics range and suggested to review treatment at 36– 72 h post antibiotic exposure. A total of 113 abstracts and full articles were identified, and only 11 full-text articles published in English were related to the subject of interest. All studies show differences either in study design, choice of antibiotics, treatment duration or outcome measures; thus, a meta-analysis was not possible to be conducted.

Conclusion: From this review, we found the potential to performed early empiric antibiotic de-escalation especially in clinically well-appearance neonates, and it is best to customize our guidelines based on local evidence which justify the need for more local research in this area.

Keywords: Neonate, Early onset sepsis, Guideline, Treatment, Duration.


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How to Cite
Ibrahim, N. A., M. Makmor Bakry, S. Ishak, and N. Mohamed Shah. “A REVIEW OF ANTIBIOTIC USED IN SUSPECTED EARLY-ONSET NEONATAL SEPSIS FROM MALAYSIAN PERSPECTIVE: WHICH ONES TO CHOOSE AND HOW LONG TO GIVE?”. Asian Journal of Pharmaceutical and Clinical Research, Vol. 12, no. 1, Jan. 2019, pp. 529-36, doi:10.22159/ajpcr.2019.v12i1.29489.
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