New campaign in Wirral highlights how taking antibiotics when you don’t need (…)

Take your doctor's advice on antibiotics 


Public Health England launches a major new campaign in Wirral to help ‘Keep Antibiotics Working’. The campaign warns people that taking antibiotics when they are not needed puts them at risk of a more severe or longer infection, and urges people to take their doctor’s advice on antibiotics. 


Antibiotics are essential to treat serious bacterial infections, such as meningitis, pneumonia and sepsis, but they are frequently being used to treat illnesses, such as coughs, earache and sore throats that can get better without medication. Taking antibiotics encourages harmful bacteria that live inside you to become resistant. That means that antibiotics may not work when you really need them.


It is estimated that at least 5,000 deaths are caused every year in England because antibiotics no longer work for some infections and this figure is set to rise with experts predicting that in just over 30 years antibiotic resistance will kill more people than cancer and diabetes combined.


The ‘Keep Antibiotics Working’ campaign urges residents in Wirral to always trust their doctor, nurse or pharmacist’s advice as to when they need antibiotics and if they are prescribed, take antibiotics as directed and never save them for later use or share them with others. The campaign also provides effective self-care advice to help individuals and their families feel better if they are not prescribed antibiotics.


Dr Diane Atherton, Lead Primary Care GP for Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) and Chair of Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group’s AMR Group says “It is important for people to understand that if they are feeling under the weather and see their GP or a nurse, antibiotics may not be prescribed if they are not effective for their condition, but they should expect to have a full discussion about how to manage their symptoms.”


“Without effective antibiotics, minor infections could become deadly and many medical advances could be at risk; surgery, chemotherapy and caesareans could become simply too dangerous. But reducing inappropriate use of antibiotics can help us stay ahead of superbugs.”


Cllr Chris Jones, Wirral’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care & Health says: “I welcome the launch of the ‘Keep Antibiotics Working’ campaign.  The public has a critical role to play and can help by taking collective action.  Always take your healthcare professionals advice and remember that antibiotics are not needed for everything.”


For further information on antibiotics, their uses and the risk of resistance, please search ‘NHS Antibiotics’ online.


Last Updated: Friday, 27 October 2017 08:58

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