Visit www.undertheweather.ie to get better without antibiotics
The more we use antibiotics, the more antibiotic resistant bacteria we make. This means that patients who really need antibiotics are less likely to get better on antibiotics than they were 10 or 20 years ago. This is the warning from doctors who are marking the 11th annual European Antibiotic Awareness Day (EAAD) #KeepAntibioticsWorking. A recent EU report has shown that infections with bacteria resistant to antibiotics are a major problem for people in Europe. Antibiotics are life-saving medicines and modern healthcare such as many cancer treatments and joint replacements would not be possible without them.
Using antibiotics also make antibiotic resistant bacteria more common and that means antibiotics do not work so well. We are now seeing new superbugs such as CPE which are resistant to many of the last line antibiotics.
Taking antibiotics you don’t need can make you sick. Like all medicines they can have side effects. This means that it is safer not to use them except when we need them. They can cause skin rash, diarrhoea, thrush or other side effects. If an antibiotic is not needed your patients, you or your family take the risk of getting side effects for no gain. Antibiotics can also interfere with other medicines such as cholesterol lowering tablets, blood thinning tablets so always check interactions.
The evidence is very clear – overuse and misuse of antibiotics has allowed bacteria to develop resistance. Bacteria are becoming resistant to the drugs we use to defend ourselves against them.
What can you do?
The HSE, in partnership with general practitioners and pharmacists has a website which gives practical, common sense advice and information on dealing with many common illnesses like colds, flu, earaches, sore throats, tummy bugs and rashes.
www.undertheweather.ie provides sound advice to give us the confidence and skill we need to take care of ourselves and our families without resorting to antibiotics. Antibiotics can cause more harm than good; they should be used only as prescribed and when needed.
- Antibiotics don’t work for colds or flu. If you have a cold or flu, visit www.undertheweather.iefor advice on how to help yourself get better and ask your doctor for advice if you are concerned.
- Antibiotics should be taken exactly as prescribed - at the right time for the right duration.
- Always finish an antibiotic course – even if you feel a lot better. This is to ensure that all the bacteria are killed completely and that no survivors are left that could multiply and develop resistance.
- Never share antibiotics or take them without prescription