European Antibiotic Awareness Day

European Antibiotic Awareness Day

NHS West Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is backing the European Antibiotic Awareness Day, on Monday 18th November, by urging residents to ’Get Well Soon without using Antibiotics’.

The European Antibiotic Awareness Day, held every year on November 18, is a Europe-wide public health initiative which encourages responsible use of antibiotics.

The best way to treat most colds, coughs or sore throats is to drink plenty of fluids and to rest.    Antibiotics only work against infections that have been caused by bacteria so as all colds and most coughs and sore throats are caused by viruses, antibiotics won’t work.

Resistance to antibiotics is becoming a worrying issue for health professionals not just in West Lancashire but nationally.  The number of infections due to antibiotic-resistant bacteria is growing globally and is related to the over-use of antibiotics.

Dr Simon Frampton, local GP and board member of NHS West Lancashire CCG, said: “There’s no doubt that antibiotics are an essential part of our armoury against bacterial infections.   However, everyone needs to be careful about their use.  For example, many incorrectly use them for colds and flu even though they do not respond to antibiotic treatment.   Antibiotics should be taken responsibility as over and incorrect use can lead to side effects and bacterial resistance, making them less effective.”

The more often an antibiotic is used, the more likely it is that bacteria will become resistant so when antibiotics are needed in the future they may no longer work.

Growing antibiotic resistance threatens the effectiveness of antibiotics now and in the future.  Eventually, the bacteria will grow resistant to the current antibiotics, and as in recent years fewer new antibiotics have been discovered, it is impossible to determine if new antibiotics will be available to replace the old ones.

Further information can be found on the following website: www.nhs.uk/antibiotics

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