Get Well Soon Without Antibiotics
We must all play a part in conserving antibiotics to help tackle infections.
The Government will launch a national campaign to remind doctors of the problem of antibiotic resistance and make clear to patients that antibiotics will not get rid of the common cold.
Almost a decade after the original national public education campaign to discourage over-use of antibiotics, the Government has warned that resistance is still on the increase and action is necessary to preserve the efficacy of the drugs that we have.
Chief Medical Officer, Liam Donaldson said:
"Antibiotic resistance is becoming more common and in recent years fewer new antibiotics have been discovered. Antibiotics treat bacterial infections but all colds and most coughs and sore throats are caused by viruses so cannot be cured with antibiotics.
"The more we take antibiotics when they are not necessary, the more bacteria will become resistant to them. We must all play a part in conserving antibiotics as a valuable clinical resource. Patients can take other remedies to help relieve the symptoms of a cough or cold. Their pharmacist is well placed to give them advice."
Patients sometimes request antibiotics from doctors 'just in case'. But bacteria adapt and find ways to survive the effects of an antibiotic, becoming 'antibiotic resistant'. The more we use an antibiotic, the more likely it is that bacteria will become resistant to it. This can lead to antibiotics becoming less effective at fighting infections
If a patient is prescribed antibiotics they should not stop taking them as soon as the symptoms fade. Antibiotics should be taken as prescribed and the course should be finished, unless a doctor or pharmacist advises otherwise. Antibiotic resistance is more likely to develop if antibiotics are not taken regularly or taken in too low a dose.
Adverts will appear in national newspapers and magazines. Posters and leaflets will also be placed in GPs surgeries and pharmacies.