Keep Antibiotics Working

31st October 2018

Keep Antibiotics Working

Taking antibiotics when you don’t need them puts you and your family at risk.

With winter approaching, and with it seasonal illnesses such as coughs, colds and flu, we’re getting behind Public Health England’s national campaign, ‘Keep antibiotics working,’ and encouraging local residents to do the same by taking their doctor’s advice when it comes to antibiotics.

Antibiotics aren’t always needed when you feel unwell

Antibiotics are essential to treat and protect us from serious bacterial infections, but they are frequently being used to treat illnesses, such as coughs, earache and sore throats, that our bodies are good at fighting off by themselves.

With the cold weather setting in, lots of people are asking their GPs for antibiotics for minor illnesses like those above. Using antibiotics except in cases where they’re really necessary – to treat sepsis, pneumonia and some sexually transmitted infections (STIs), for example – puts you and your family at risk.

Effective self-care ways to help you feel better if you or a family member are feeling unwell.

Taking antibiotics encourages harmful bacteria that live inside you to become resistant. That means that antibiotics may not work when you really need them. This puts you at risk of a more serious or longer illness.

Help ‘keep antibiotics working’

Launched last winter, ‘Keep antibiotics working’ supports the government’s ambition to cut inappropriate prescribing of antibiotics in half by 2020.

To help protect your family from the risk of antibiotic resistance, take them only on your doctor’s advice. And where your doctor does prescribe them, always complete the course, and never share them with family or friends.

When it comes to antibiotics, always take your doctor, nurse or healthcare professional’s advice.

Please visit nhs.uk/antibiotics for further information on antibiotic resistance.

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