Why won’t my GP prescribe antibiotics for my cold?
- Antibiotics do not work for viral infections like colds and flu or for most sore throats and earaches
- Antibiotics cannot prevent viruses spreading to other people
- Antibiotics only fight infections caused by bacteria
What is antibiotic resistance?
- When bacteria adapt and survive the effects of antibiotics, they no longer work, this is called ‘antibiotic resistance’
- The more you use antibiotics, the greater the risk bacteria will develop resistance
- This means when you need antibiotics they may not work
- By only using antibiotics when necessary, they are more likely to work when we really need them
- We all have a responsibility to protect antibiotics for our children’s generation
What can I do about antibiotic resistance?
- Only use antibiotics when it is appropriate, and only under the instruction of your doctor, nurse or pharmacist
- If you are given antibiotics make sure you complete the course as prescribed
- Never share antibiotics with other people
What other effects can antibiotics have?
- Antibiotics can upset the natural balance of bacteria of your body
- This allows other more harmful bacteria to increase and can mean you experience side effects such as thrush or diarrhoea