Appropriate use of antimicrobials is primarily a patient safety issue, and is the key aim of an effective antimicrobial stewardship program. We discuss the challenges in the management of a patient with sepsis, and how decision-making is usually done in the absence of effective diagnostics. Time dependent protocols and the knowledge that undertreatment of a patient with sepsis will lead to poor outcomes will lead to prescribing that may be driven by fear. Antimicrobial resistance is associated with over-use of antimicrobials but is usually not the immediate concern. Antimicrobial stewardship programs should work closely with sepsis teams to ensure that sepsis pathways are implemented across the whole hospital, and that key principles of judicious use are embedded within the clinical pathway.