Imagine a world where old diseases like leprosy and tuberculosis are common, where pneumonia is a killer, and cuts and grazes that turn septic can be fatal. This is the threat posed by antibiotic resistance. It is one of the biggest threats facing health services today. Without effective antibiotics many routine treatments will become increasingly dangerous. Setting broken bones, basic operations and chemotherapy all rely on access to antibiotics that work.
You can do your bit to help since it is the inappropriate use and prescribing of antibiotics that is causing the development of resistance. Antibiotics do not treat illnesses caused by viruses, like colds and flu, so don’t go to your GP and pester him for antibiotics. Ask your pharmacist for something to relieve your symptoms.
If you do have a serious infection and have been prescribed an antibiotic – check with the pharmacist when you pick the prescription up if you are not sure – then make sure you take it properly:
• Take it as prescribed
• Do not skip doses
• Do not take it at irregular intervals
• Do not ‘save some for later’ if you are feeling better. Complete the course.