Never administer antibiotics for perioperative prophylaxis beyond 24 hours after surgery. Antibiotic prophylaxis should be limited to the perioperative period. The choice to continue prophylaxis beyond the first 24 postoperative hours is not justified.

Type of practice


Perioperative antibiotic prophylaxis (PAP) is an effective measure for the prevention of surgical site infections (SSI), where indicated; However, its misuse significantly contributes to the total consumption of antibiotics in hospitals and it has been associated with increased antibiotic resistance of microorganisms and increased health care costs. It is not recommended, in general, to continue antibiotic prophylaxis beyond 24 hours after surgery. The importance of proper PAP for the prevention of SSI has been confirmed by several epidemiological studies and, in particular, by a systematic review of 21 meta- analyses and a recent technical report and systematic review by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).


1. European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Systematic review and evidence-based guidance on perioperative antibiotic prophylaxis.
2. SNLG 17. Antibioticoprofilassi perioperatoria nell’adulto. Linee guida 2008, aggiornamento 2011. Disponibile su:
3. World Health Organization. Antimicrobial Resistance Global Report on surveillance 2014. Disponibile su:

Attention. Please note that these items are provided only for information and are not intended as a substitute for consultation with a clinician. Patients with any specific questions about the items on this list or their individual situation should consult their clinician.