Antibiotics work to treat serious bacterial infections such as meningitis, pneumonia and sepsis.

They are not effective at treating illnesses caused by viral infections such as coughs, colds, sore throats and flu, which our bodies are good at fighting off by themselves.

Antibiotic resistance

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

To help protect you and your family from the risk of antibiotic resistance:

  • Only take antibiotics that are prescribed to you by your doctor
  • Never save them for later use or share them with others
  • Always finish the course

Always follow your doctor’s advice on when and how to take antibiotics correctly.

For more information on antibiotic resistance, visit the NHS Choices website.

Antibiotic Guardians

We all have a role to play in the fight against antibiotic resistance. Being an Antibiotic Guardian is about using antibiotics more wisely, which you don’t have to be an expert to do. To find out more, visit the Antibiotic Guardian website.

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