Keeping antibiotics working for everyone
The NHS in east Kent is urging patients to only take antibiotics when they are needed and help keep antibiotics working for everyone.
As part of World Antibiotics Week, patients are being asked to use antibiotics wisely, as directed by a GP or pharmacist.
Antibiotics are a vital tool used to manage bacterial infections but if used inappropriately they may not work properly in the future.
They do not work against viral infections, such as colds, and will not be prescribed by a GP for these types of illness.
Dr Navin Kumta, Clinical Chair for NHS Ashford Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “GPs are only prescribing antibiotics when we are absolutely sure that they are necessary.
“Everybody needs to do their bit though. If you are prescribed antibiotics you should follow the instructions on the packet, take them at the intervals directed and ensure that any course is completed. Antibiotics should never be shared or saved for later.
“The best thing to do if you feel like you are getting a cold is to drink plenty of fluids and rest. Two or three days of rest will shake off most winter illnesses. If the symptoms carry on, you can see a pharmacist without an appointment for further advice.”
How to look after yourself and your family
If you or a family member are feeling unwell, have a cold or flu-like symptoms and you haven’t been prescribed antibiotics, here are some effective self-care ways to help you feel better:
- Ask your pharmacist to recommend medicines to help with symptoms or pain. They can also provide advice on treating minor health concerns and healthy living.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Make sure you or your child drink enough to avoid feeling thirsty.
- Fever is a sign the body is fighting the infection and usually gets better by itself in most cases. You can use paracetamol if you or your child are uncomfortable as a result of a fever.
- Make sure to use a tissue for your nose and wash your hands frequently to avoid spreading your infection to family and friends.
Read the Keep Antibiotics Working patient leaflet – https://www.ashfordccg.nhs.uk/