Public urged to take doctor’s advice on antibiotics

The importance of taking your doctor’s advice on antibiotics is being highlighted this week by local doctors and pharmacists as part of World Antibiotics Awareness Week (12-18 November).

Taking antibiotics when you don’t need them puts you and your family at risk by encouraging harmful bacteria which lives inside you to become resistant – which means that antibiotics may not work when really needed.

Antibiotics are essential to treat serious bacterial infections but they are frequently being used to treat illnesses, such as coughs, earache and sore throats that can get better by themselves,” warned Dr Richard Mendelsohn, a GP and NHS Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group’s Chief Medical Officer.

“We all have a part to play in safeguarding antibiotics for the future. This means helping patients to understand that by taking antibiotics when you don’t need them, it means they are less likely to work for you in the future – making cancer patients more vulnerable and affecting common procedures such as caesarean sections and hip replacements, which could all become life-threatening without antibiotics to ward off infections.

“We are encouraging GPs to only prescribe antibiotics when absolutely necessary, and asking patients to take their doctor’s advice on the best treatment for them – which won’t always mean being prescribed antibiotics.”

More information on antibiotics awareness visit https://www.birminghamandsolihullccg.nhs.uk/news/blogs/835-keep-antibiotics-working