Be antibiotics-aware patients are urged - The Evesham Observer

Be antibiotics-aware patients are urged

Evesham Editorial 7th Mar, 2020   0

VALE residents are being encouraged by local GPs to be antibiotics aware and appreciate they are unlikely to remedy coughs, colds and sore throats.

Antibiotics are used to treat or prevent some types of bacterial infection, and work by killing bacteria or preventing them from reproducing and spreading.

They are not effective against viral infections such as the common cold and flu, as well as most coughs and sore throats that circulate at this time of year.

Local doctors say that by being antibiotics aware, people can do their bit to help the prevention of ‘antibiotic resistance’, where bacteria adapt and find ways to survive the effects of an antibiotic.

Dr Carl Ellson said: “Many people wrongly assume antibiotics are a cure-all remedy for their winter illness, but they have no effect on colds, flu and the majority of coughs and sore throats.

“The more we use antibiotics, the less effective they become, so it’s essential we use them sensibly.

“We can all do our bit to limit antibiotic resistance, and residents can play their part by not expecting their GP to prescribe antibiotics to make minor winter illnesses better.

“A pharmacist may be able to recommend over-the-counter remedies to ease the symptoms of winter illness, so visit your local pharmacy for advice if you’re feeling under the weather.”

He added that when prescribed antibiotics, it’s important to follow the instructions carefully as improper use can help bacteria develop resistance to antibiotics.

“Never skip doses of antibiotics, save some for later or stop taking them before your course is finished, because even if you’re feeling better there may still be bacteria in your system which can mutate and become resistant,” he added.

“And never share your antibiotics with anyone else as you don’t know their medical history.”

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