We are encouraging responsible use of antibiotics, and want to increase understanding about how overusing antibiotics can really reduce their effectiveness and even threaten the health of the person taking them.
Antibiotics are important medicines for treating bacterial infections, but they are losing their effectiveness at an increasing rate. Bacteria adapt and ﬁnd new ways to survive the effects of an antibiotic and become resistant, meaning that the antibiotic no longer works. This resistance to antibiotics is one of the most significant threats to the safety of patients in Europe.
Inappropriate use includes:
• Not taking your antibiotics as prescribed
• Skipping doses of antibiotics
• Not taking antibiotics at regular intervals
• Saving some for later
To slow down the development of antibiotic resistance it is important to use antibiotics in the right way, to use the right drug, at the right dose, at the right time for the right duration. Antibiotics should be taken as prescribed, never saved for later or shared with others.
GPs and other clinicians also have a role to play by ensuring they are prescribed appropriately.