Antibiotics not always the answer

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Don’t go straight for the antibiotics if you are feeling ill - is the warning from GPs across Wolverhampton Clinical Commissioning Group (WCCG).

Many patients ask for antibiotics when visiting their GP as they assume a course of antibiotics is a cure-all solution.

However the overuse of antibiotics can result in infections becoming resistant to the drug so they do not work.

Doctor Dan De Rosa from WCCG said: “Fighting infections is a growing problem due to antibiotic resistance, which means that the bugs causing bacterial infections are becoming immune to the routine antibiotics that we use.  This antibiotic resistance is caused many different factors; the main cause is overuse of antibiotics (for example in intensive farming),or sometimes prescribing them inappropriately for viral illnesses (many patients come to their GP expecting to be given antibiotics for viral illnesses and are upset when they don’t get what they want and GPs can feel pressurised to prescribe) and by patient’s not finishing the course as directed to.

To slow down the development of antibiotic resistance, it is important to use antibiotics in the right way – to use the right drug, at the right dose, at the right time, for the right duration.

Antibiotics should be taken as prescribed and never saved for later or shared with others.”

What patients should do:

  • take only the antibiotics as prescribed
  • not skip doses of antibiotics
  • ensure antibiotics are taken at regular intervals
  • never save some for later
  • don’t stop taking them even if you feel better
  • not share antibiotics with others.
  • Not expect to take antibiotics for viral infections like colds, most sore throats and the flu

Speak to your GP if you are given antibiotics and are concerned or visit the following page on NHS Choices for more information.

http://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/ARC/Pages/AboutARC.aspx

For more information on staying well this winter visit www.nhs.uk/staywell