Antimicrobial Awareness Guide
You may not think it matters to you, but Antimicrobial Stewardship matters to each and every one of us.
Imagine a world without effective antibiotics, trivial infections could become life-threatening and elective operations could be dangerous. Antimicrobial resistance would even affect animals like your cat/dog as well as livestock.
Antibiotics are losing their effectiveness at an increasing rate and there are very few new antibiotics under development.
How Can We Help?
By providing quality, evidence-based advice!
Pharmacists are often a patient’s first port of call. Pharmacist advice at an early stage may prevent complications that require antibiotics. Pharmacist advice may help you understand your condition and prevent a wasted trip to the GP. Ultimately, a pharmacist's advice can help prevent the overuse of antibiotics.
How Can You Help?
The coronavirus pandemic has made us all acutely aware of hand hygiene and how easily respiratory illnesses can spread. It’s important that we embrace some of the hygiene improvements we have made like ensuring you wash your hands regularly with soap and water (or alcohol gel) to ensure we remain in good health.
Antibiotics won’t cure every illness but they will cure some...
Got a virus? Forget antibiotics they won’t help! Viruses are best prevented through vaccination.
Got a sore throat? Most sore throats are viral, so it’s very unlikely antibiotics will help most patients.
Got a cough? Most coughs will settle within a few weeks, most do not require antibiotics.
Flu? You got it, it’s a virus. Antibiotics won’t help here. You should probably consider having the flu vaccine each year.
All colds, coughs, sinusitis, otitis media (earache) and sore throats will get better without antibiotics.
This is not to say people do not need antibiotics, in fact, it is quite the opposite, people do need antibiotics for, for example, Sepsis, Pneumonia, Meningitis, Urinary Tract Infections and STDs but getting the right antibiotic for the right infection is really important.
So, please don’t ask your doctor or pharmacist for antibiotics. If they are needed they will be prescribed and if they are prescribed always ensure you take them correctly and never save them for later or share with others. Lastly, return any unused antibiotics to your local pharmacy for safe destruction.
Why not make a pledge to be an antibiotic guardian? Learn more about the importance of antimicrobial stewardship and help safeguard antibiotics for future generations.