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Taking Antibiotics When You Don't Need Them Puts You At Risk
photo by Sheep Purple
As the Chief Medical Officer and experts around the world warn of a 'post-antibiotic apocalypse' and 'the end of modern medicine', Public Health England launches a major new campaign to help 'Keep Antibiotics Working'.

The campaign warns people that taking antibiotics when they are not needed puts them at risk of a more severe or longer infection, and urges people to take their doctor's advice on antibiotics.

Public Health England's ESPAUR report reveals that as antibiotic resistance grows, the options for treatment decrease. Worryingly, 4 in 10 patients with an E.coli bloodstream infection in England cannot be treated with the most commonly used antibiotic in hospitals.

Antibiotics are essential to treat serious bacterial infections, such as meningitis, pneumonia and sepsis, but they are frequently being used to treat illnesses, such as coughs, earache and sore throats that can get better by themselves.

Taking antibiotics encourages harmful bacteria that live inside you to become resistant. That means that antibiotics may not work when you really need them. It is estimated that at least 5,000 deaths are caused every year in England because antibiotics no longer work for some infections and this figure is set to rise with experts predicting that in just over 30 years antibiotic resistance will kill more people than cancer and diabetes combined.

The 'Keep Antibiotics Working' campaign urges the public to always trust their doctor, nurse or pharmacist's advice as to when they need antibiotics and if they are prescribed, take antibiotics as directed and never save them for later use or share them with others. The campaign also provides effective self-care advice to help individuals and their families feel better if they are not prescribed antibiotics.

Public Health England's new campaign is part of a wider cross-government strategy, involving the agricultural, pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors, which tackles the threat of antibiotic resistance by increasing supply and reducing inappropriate demand.

To help keep this precious resource in the fight against infections working, the public are asked to play their part and urged to always take their doctor, nurse or pharmacist's advice on antibiotics.

For further information on antibiotics, their uses and the risk of resistance, search 'NHS Antibiotics' online.

Taking Antibiotics When You Don't Need Them Puts You At Risk , 24th October 2017, 16:34 PM