Patients are being urged to think twice about taking antibiotics unless they have been prescribed them by their GP as the first World Antibiotic Awareness Week gets underway today (Monday 16 November, 2015).

Endorsed at the World Health Assembly, World Antibiotic Awareness Week highlights the fact that antibiotics are a precious resource and should only be used when prescribed by a certified health professional.

They should not be shared with other people, are not needed for common ailments such as colds, earache and sore throats, and the full course of treatment should always be completed - not saved for the future.

Councillor Sandra Samuels, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: "Bacteria adapt and find ways to survive the effects of an antibiotic, and so they are losing their effectiveness at an increasing rate.

"It's therefore really important that people use antibiotics in the right way - the right drug, at the right dose, at the right time for the right duration. They should be taken as prescribed, never saved later or shared with others.

"In addition, people take antibiotics for mild infections when they don't need to. Colds, coughs, earache and sore throats usually get better without antibiotics. Anyone who has any of these conditions should instead speak to their local pharmacist who will be able to give advice on the best remedies.

"There are very few new antibiotics in the development pipeline. Using them in the correct way will help to slow down the development of antibiotic resistance and make sure these life saving medicines continue to stay effective for ourselves our children and grandchildren.

"So I'd urge people to think twice about taking antibiotics, unless they have specifically been prescribed them by their GP."

For more details please visit Type=links;Linkid=6684;Title=World Antibiotic Awareness Week - and European Antibiotic Awareness Day;Target=_blank; which takes place on Wednesday (18 November, 2015).

During World Antibiotic Awareness Week, people are being encouraged to sign a pledge and become an Antibiotic Guardian by logging onto Type=links;Linkid=6685;Title=Antibiotic Guardian;Target=_blank;.

  • released: Monday 16 November, 2015