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Antibiotics not always the answer

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Don’t go straight for the antibiotics if you are feeling ill – is the advice from GPs across mid Essex.

Many patients ask for antibiotics when visiting their GP, as they assume a course of this treatment is a cure-all solution.

However, the overuse of an antibiotic can result in infections becoming resistant to the drug so it stops working.

Dr Caroline Dollery, chair of Mid Essex CCG, said: “Fighting infections is a growing problem due to antibiotic resistance. It is driven by overusing antibiotics, prescribing them inappropriately and patient’s not finishing the course.

“To slow down the development of antibiotic resistance, it is important to use medication in the right way – to use the right drug, at the right dose, at the right time, for the right duration.
“Antibiotics should be taken as prescribed and never saved for later or shared with others.”

What patients should do if they are prescribed antibiotic medication

  • take antibiotics only as prescribed
  • not skip doses of antibiotics
  • ensure antibiotics are taken at regular intervals
  • never save some for later
  • don’t stop taking them even if you feel better
  • don’t share antibiotics with others.

Speak to your GP if you are given antibiotics and are concerned.

NHS Choices offers information too: http://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/ARC/Pages/AboutARC.aspx.

For more information on staying well this winter, visit www.nhs.uk/staywell.

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