“You have not been prescribed an antibiotic today”
This year, our antibiotics campaign aims to tackle the over-use of antibiotics. Doctors and pharmacists will be explaining to patients why they might not be prescribed an antibiotic.
Using antibiotics too much can make them less effective, so we are trying to help patients to understand why doctors need to reserve antibiotics for those patients who really need them.
People often go straight to their GP for antibiotics when they have a cough, a cold or even flu, not realising that antibiotics are only effective against bacteria and won’t work on colds or flu or any other illness caused by viruses. Antibiotics are vital for treating bacterial infections and it is important that people use them the right way, in the right dosage and at the right time as we need to do all we can to prevent this hugely important medicine from becoming ineffective.
As part of the campaign, GPs, practice nurses and pharmacists will be giving patients cards explaining why “You have not been prescribed an antibiotic today”.
The cards also include some practical advice for tackling conditions like colds.
Often the best thing is to take medicines like paracetamol to control your symptoms and keep well hydrated. Alternatively, you can visit a pharmacist, who will be able to advise on common illnesses like the cold and how best to manage them.
A series of videos about antibiotics - explaining what they are for, how to take them, and how we need to keep antibiotics effective - is available below:-