Let’s help prevent ‘antibiotics resistance’ in North and North East Lincolnshire

North Lincolnshire (NL) and North East Lincolnshire (NEL) Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) want to raise awareness of ‘antibiotic resistance’ to help people understand how they can play a part in ensuring antibiotics remain a valuable resource for everyone.

Antibiotics are important medicines used to treat many infections caused by bacteria and can prevent patients suffering serious illnesses. However, bacteria can adapt and find ways to survive the effects of an antibiotic and become ‘antibiotic resistant’, meaning that the antibiotic no longer works. The more often we use antibiotics, the more likely it is that bacteria will become resistant to it. New antibiotics may not always be found to replace them. 

Both CCGs are urging that you let common illnesses such as coughs, colds and sore throats get better by themselves and to ensure that you only use antibiotics when it’s appropriate to do so. Often minor infections will improve in the same length of time whether an antibiotic has been taken or not. Where they are prescribed, the complete course should be taken in order to get rid of the bacteria completely. If the course is not completed some bacteria may be left, and they too may develop resistance. Always speak to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any concerns.

Dr Andrew Stead, GP and Clinical Lead at NEL CCG said: “Antibiotics do not work against infections caused by viruses, such as the common cold and the prescription of antibiotics to this type of virus will have no effect on the body. By using antibiotics less often, we can slow down the development of resistance. Antibiotics will only be issued when there is a clinical need”.

Dr Richard Falk, Area Prescribing Committee (APC) Chairman and Prescribing Lead for North Lincolnshire CCG added: “Pharmacists are able to help with many self-limiting conditions such as sore throats and a cough. A trip to the doctor’s surgery isn’t always the correct first port of call”.

For more information please visit: http://www.nhs.uk/nhsengland/arc/pages/whatareantibiotics.aspx

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