Saturday 18 November 2017 is European Antibiotic Awareness Day and NHS Dumfries and Galloway are highlighting what the public can do to help ensure antibiotic use is appropriate and raise awareness of the work that is going on locally.
Bacteria are becoming more resistant to antibiotics and there have been no new antibiotics developed for many years, so we must use the antibiotics we have available, wisely and do what we can to keep them working.
Many antibiotics are prescribed and used for mild infections when they don’t need to be. All viruses – colds, most coughs, sinusitis, earache and sore throats do get better without antibiotics.
Community pharmacists are well placed to help provide advice on over-the-counter medicines to treat symptoms of these viruses and help with self-care. Please ask your pharmacist for advice instead of asking your GP for antibiotics.
Antimicrobials Pharmacist at NHS Dumfries & Galloway Susan Coyle says:
“We need to keep antibiotics working for ourselves and for the next generations. Resistance to antibiotics is one of the greatest dangers we face and we must all do what we can to prevent it. That means only taking antibiotics when they are really needed and learning to manage simple infections with advice from the pharmacist and over-the-counter medicines.”
The European Antibiotic Awareness Day campaign “Keep Antibiotics Working” raises awareness of antibiotic resistance among the general public and encourages greater trust in doctors’ advice when it comes to taking antibiotics.
Susan added “If antibiotics are prescribed for you, please take them according to the directions on the label. Please don’t share antibiotics with anyone else and always finish the course you have been given. Never save some antibiotics for another time. Don’t buy antibiotics from abroad or online. Your GP is the best person to decide whether or not you need to take antibiotics.
The development of antibiotic resistance in an individual patient is strongly linked to the number of prescriptions for an antibiotic and the number of days of antibiotic treatment in the previous 12 months. Once you have a resistant bug, it becomes much more difficult to treat any infections you develop and you can easily pass on the resistant bug to others.”
“We all have a part to play if we are going to prevent the spread of resistant bugs.”