NHS Tayside is supporting European Antibiotic Awareness Day this Friday (November 18) which aims to cut the unnecessary use of antibiotics.
The health authority is issuing simple advice for the public on how to avoid untreatable infections and the need for antibiotics.
Hazel Steele, antimicrobial pharmacist, said that Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats being faced today
She said: “Without effective antibiotics, many infections will become increasingly difficult to treat. Overuse of antibiotics causes bacteria to change and develop resistance, making infections harder to treat.”
Simple measures that can be taken to reduce the risk of untreatable infections include:-
Washing hands regularly and properly for at least 30 seconds with soap and water, especially before eating, is the single best way to prevent the spread of infections.
If the NHS offers any vaccinations, accepting them will reduce the risk of serious infections.
If feeling unwell, seek advice. Many infections such as coughs, colds and sore throats can be fought off naturally and while symptoms can be unpleasant they are often not helped or shortened by antibiotics. Symptoms can be managed with advice from a pharmacist.
If prescribed antibiotics, carefully follow the directions given on the label. They will work best if taken regularly and doses are not missed.
Antibiotics can only safely be prescribed by a health professional (e.g. doctor, dentist or nurse) after an examination. Do not try to buy antibiotics without a prescription, do not save antibiotics for later use, do not use leftover antibiotics from previous treatments, do not share antibiotics with other people.
Further advice is available from pharmacists, GPs or NHS 24.