Antibiotic use

GPs face enormous pressure from patients to prescribe antibiotics for minor illnesses.

Antibiotics are very effective drugs, as long as they are used appropriately — contrary to popular misunderstanding antibiotics do not work on viral illnesses.

Unfortunately the harsh reality now is that infections are developing that cannot be effectively treated by antibiotics – this is because some harmful organisms “outwit” antibiotics and have become “resistant” to them.

We could be close to reaching a point where antibiotics may not be able to prevent or treat everyday infections or diseases.

To reduce the chances of this doctors are now encouraged to prescribe antibiotics with caution.

Careful use of antibiotics means they will be more likely to work when needed.

Trust your GP’s clinical decision

There is clear medical evidence that inappropriate prescribing of antibiotics can increase the possibility of infection from the “Super-Bugs” such as:
• Clostridium Difficile &
• MRSA

The information in the leaflet below will explain why your doctor has not given you a prescription during your visit, together with advice on how best to look after yourself through this period of minor illness and what to do if you are not getting better.

For further information see:
www.nhschoices.com
www.patient.co.uk

Antibiotics May Not Always Be The Answer (pdf 657.1 KB)