Here’s why you shouldn’t be asking your GP for antibiotics

Patients are being discouraged from requesting antibiotics from their GP to help combat the threat of growing resistance to the drugs.

If people use antibiotics for minor ailments, which could clear up by themselves, then it can reduce their effectiveness in the future.

Already 5,000 people die every year due to the fact that antibiotics no longer work for some infections.

Experts have suggested that, in just over 30 years, antibiotic resistance will kill more people globally than cancer and diabetes combined.

Public Health England has launched a campaign called Keep Antibiotics Working to make sure the drugs are not over used.

Dame Sally Davies (Yui Mok/PA)

Professor Dame Sally Davies, England’s chief medical officer, has warned of a “post-antibiotic apocalypse”, where antibiotics no longer work for serious infections.

She said: “Without effective antibiotics, minor infections could become deadly and many medical advances could be at risk – surgery, chemotherapy and Caesareans could become simply too dangerous.

“But reducing inappropriate use of antibiotics can help us stay ahead of superbugs.”

Public Health England also has a new advert with a catchy tune to remind people that antibiotics “don’t work for everything”.

Professor Paul Cosford, medical director at PHE, said: “Antibiotic resistance is not a distant threat, but is in fact one of the most dangerous global crises facing the modern world today.

“Taking antibiotics when you don’t need them puts you and your family at risk of developing infections which in turn cannot be easily treated with antibiotics.

“Without urgent action from all of us, common infections, minor injuries and routine operations will become much riskier.”


 

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