Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats to global health right now – affecting people of any age in any country. One leading cause of antibiotic resistance is the misuse of antibiotics, so today November 18th, is European Antibiotics Awareness Day which aims to raise awareness of the dangers of antibiotic misuse.
Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics for infections that are caused by bacteria, like some chest infections, kidney infection, some ear infections and meningitis.
But if you have a cold, cough, or maybe even the flu, one thing that you should know, and always remember, is that antibiotics don’t work against infections caused by viruses, such as colds and flu. Taking antibiotics when you don’t need them is a waste. It can also mean that they won’t work when you really need them for a serious infection and put you at risk of side effects.
Similarly if a treatment course of antibiotics is not completed some bacteria may survive and become resistant to future antibiotic treatment. Many people stop taking prescribed antibiotics once they start of feel better, however stopping treatment early leaves the risk that you won’t have killed all of the bacteria, which will then mutate and may become resistant.
Antibiotics are so important – allowing straightforward treatment of once life-threatening bacterial infections like strep-throat and pneumonia, and the emergence of complex surgeries which we now consider routine.
If we lose this war against antibiotic resistance it could set medicine back decades.
If you have a cough or cold, call in the your local Sam McCauley Chemist and our Pharmacists will be able to offer advice and suggestions on some over-the-counter medicines to help you get back on your feet.