Respiratory infections are among the most common reasons for prescribing antibiotics. The excessive use of antibiotics in ambulatory practice has contributed to the emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance. The appropriate use of antimicrobial agents for respiratory infections could potentially reduce the emergence of antibiotic resistance. This article reviews recent guidelines and position papers on the appropriate antibiotic treatment for respiratory infections. There is a wide consensus that antibiotics are not appropriate for the treatment of most cases of acute bronchitis, pharyngitis, and rhinosinusitis. The recently published community-acquired pneumonia guidelines emphasized the importance of selecting antibiotic regimens active against both typical and atypical pathogens. However, there is disagreement regarding the routine use of the new quinolones.