When you receive a prescription for antibiotics, you must follow the doctor’s instructions in order to minimise the risk of developing resistant bacteria. If you do not follow the instructions correctly, for example if you shorten the length of time of treatment, if you take a lower dose or if you do not take the antibiotics at the correct time interval prescribed by your doctor, bacteria can become resistant to antibiotics.
Resistant bacteria can stay with you and can also be passed on to others. This may put you and others at risk of not responding to antibiotics next time you need them.
- Antibiotics won’t work in the case of a cold or the flu
- Take antibiotics responsibly and only when they are prescribed by your doctor
- Keeping antibiotics effective is everybody’s responsibility
Take Antibiotics Only When Necessary
Antibiotics should be used only when needed, because excessive use can make bacteria resistant to antibiotics.
Taking antibiotics when they are not necessary will not help you. For example, antibiotics are NOT effective against infections caused by viruses such as common colds or flu. In most cases, your immune system should be able to fight simple infections.
Taking antibiotics will not help you recover or prevent the viruses from spreading to other persons. Only a medical doctor can make the correct diagnosis and decide whether your condition needs antibiotic treatment.
For further information please download the Get Well Without Antibiotics Leaflet
Antibiotics and Children
When do I need to worry?
Having an ill child can be a very scary experience for parents. If you understand more about the illness it can help you to feel more in control.
What is it that you are most worried about?
If you are seeing your GP or nurse, it is important to tell them what it is you are most worried about.
What are you expecting from the consultation?
When you consult with a doctor or nurse, it is a good idea to think about what you are expecting. If you have any ideas about what you would like done, you should tell the doctor or nurse. This will allow them to try and deal with the things that you are expecting.
For further information please download the Patient Information Leaflet.
Short videos dealing with this issue for patient information are also available via YouTube
The videos are also available in alternative formats at Antibiotic Awareness Day Resources