Antibiotics? Let the professionals decide.

As more and more bacterial infections become resistant to antibiotics it is more important than ever people don’t use left over antibiotics for their winter illnesses. In order to stay well this winter get advice from you GP or pharmacy about the best way to fight winter infections.

Dr John Howarth, Deputy Chief Executive and GP explains:

Increasing antibiotic resistance is one of the greatest challenges we have in medicine. We need to keep antibiotics for when we really need them. Most coughs and colds and even ear infections in winter are caused by viruses and don’t respond to antibiotics. Widespread use of antibiotics for coughs and cold just increases antibiotic resistance. They also kill off your natural bacteria which can take many weeks to recover.

 Antibiotics should be prescribed by a medical doctor:

  • Never try to buy antibiotics without a prescription.
  • Never save antibiotics for later use unless advised to do this by your doctor.
  • Never use leftover antibiotics from previous treatments.
  • Never share leftover antibiotics with other people. 

If you received more antibiotic doses than you were prescribed, ask your pharmacist about how to dispose of the remaining doses.

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

Try this quiz developed by the World Health Organisation to find out how much you know about antibiotics.