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Antibiotics - don't overuse them, or we'll lose them

That’s the message from local health chiefs as they urge patients to only use antibiotics when absolutely necessary, and not for mild infections like sore throats, colds and coughs.

World Antibiotic Awareness week highlights that antibiotics are a precious resource and should be preserved. The CCG is taking action and patients might find that when visiting their GP with mild infections like coughs, ear infections or sore throats that they’ll be given advice on how to treat their ailment at home, instead of a prescription.

Dr Richard Spiers, Clinical Lead for Prescribing and Clinical Policies, at Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group, said, “Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats facing us today. Without effective antibiotics many routine treatments will become increasingly dangerous. Setting broken bones, basic operations, even chemotherapy all rely on access to antibiotics that work. Imagine having something like meningitis and antibiotics simply not working to fight that infection because the bugs have become resistant.

“This is not something you can bury your head in the sand about, or think that other people will take action instead of you. All of us need to take action, not just for ourselves but for everyone. So next time you feel unwell with a mild illness, don’t head straight to your GP asking for antibiotics. Visit your local pharmacist who will be better placed to offer you the right medication and advice.”

  • Patients must always finish the course even if they feel better before that – that’s one of the main causes of resistant bugs.
  • Patients  must not share antibiotics with another person – if they have been given antibiotics they are for a specific infection and are specific for the patient.
  • Don’t stockpile antibiotics “in case you might need them”.
  • Most sore throats are caused by viruses so antibiotics won’t work – they get better on their own.

For more information visit http://www.who.int/antimicrobial-resistance/events/world-antibiotic-awareness-week-2016/en/

10/11/2016