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Help antibiotics save their strength

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Antibiotic superhero

Health bosses in Worcestershire are challenging the public to step up and become superhero’s in the fight against antibiotic resistance.

In support of European Antibiotics Awareness Day (Friday 18 November), the three Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in Worcestershire (NHS South Worcestershire, NHS Redditch and Bromsgrove and NHS Wyre Forest CCGs) are working with health and social care partners to remind patients of the importance of only taking antibiotics when necessary.

With infections from antibiotic resistant bacteria increasing and fewer new antibiotics being developed it is becoming more difficult to treat infections. This is a concern for all patients, as well as those with a weakened immune system, and can have an impact on a patient’s length of stay in hospital as well as being a cause of death in the most vulnerable.
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To help slow down and prevent the development and spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, patients are encouraged to think about the medicines they are requesting and to remember the following advice:
  • Antibiotics are important medicines and should only be taken when prescribed by a doctor or other health professional when they believe it is appropriate
  • Complete the prescribed course, because not taking the full course encourages the emergence of resistance
  • Antibiotics cannot treat infections caused by viruses, such as common colds or flu, because antibiotics are only effective against bacterial infections
  • Each antibiotic only works against specific types of bacteria, and health professionals are best placed to establish your needs with the available medicines
  • Patients shouldn’t share their antibiotics with anyone else because they are prescribed for them only
  • Resistant bacteria can spread from person to person.

Danielle Clark, Medicines Assurance Pharmacist for the three Worcestershire CCGs said:

“It’s important that patients use antibiotics in the right way ensuring they are only taken when needed to treat specific bacterial infections. Antibiotics can’t help treat colds or flu, in the majority of cases plenty of rest at home and staying well hydrated is the best course of action.

“Bacteria can adapt and find ways to survive the effects of an antibiotic. This means antibiotics are losing their effectiveness at an increasing rate. The more we use antibiotics, the greater the chance bacteria will become resistant to them and they can no longer be used to treat infections.

“This winter we really want to highlight the dangers of antibiotic resistance and inform people of the measures that can be taken to help ensure that antibiotics remain effective for us and future generations.”

Healthcare professionals, patients and the public can also make an Antibiotic Guardian pledge. It calls on everyone in the UK to become an antibiotics guardian by choosing one simple pledge about how they will make better use of these vital medicines. You can take the pledge at www.antibioticguardian.com.

For more advice on antibiotics please talk to your GP or pharmacist.

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Notes to editors   


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