ID ADVISER: An Acronym to Help Pharmacists Promote Appropriate Antibiotic Use


As a pharmacy student, I learned about the value of acronyms and mnemonics.

As a pharmacy student, I learned about the value of acronyms and mnemonics.

I will never forget things like “CONDOM” for anti-staphylococcal penicillins (cloxacillin, oxacillin, nafcillin, dicloxacillin, oxacillin [again], methicillin), or “RIPE” for a common Mycobacterium tuberculosis regimen (rifampin, isoniazid, pyrazinamide, ethambutol).

The mneuomonic “Barbie’s race car goes phast” for inducers of cytochromes P450 (barbituates, rifampin, carbamazepine, griseofulvin, phenytoin) will also stay with me forever.

As a pharmacy resident rotating through a medical intensive care unit (ICU), I was introduced to the extremely valuable acronym “FAST HUG” for assessing ICU patients (feeding, analgesia, sedation, thromboembolic prophylaxis, head of bed elevation, ulcer prophylaxis, glycemic control).1 With all of the tasks I performed each day, this easily memorized checklist proved invaluable in ensuring that I reviewed key clinical information on every patient.

In an effort to employ this strategy of using an acronym-oriented checklist to assist in clinical decision-making within the area of infectious diseases, I have created the acronym “ID ADVISER” for pharmacists and other health care professionals to use.

The following is by no means all-inclusive of the considerations one must account for when prescribing or dispensing antimicrobial drugs, but it does cover most of the fundamentals that should be addressed as we make decisions and advise patients or other health care professionals on safe and appropriate antimicrobial drug use:

I indication

D duration

A allergies

D dose


I interactions

S side effects

E education

R route

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the Department of Veterans Affairs or the United States government.


1. Vincent JL. Give your patients a fast hug (at least) once a day. Crit Care Med. 2005 Jun;33(6):1225-9.

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