Published: 16 November 2020
This European Antibiotic Awareness Day keep antibiotics working and keep up to date with antibiotic resistance
What is antibiotic resistance?
Everyday antibiotic resistance is making people suffer more and die younger than they need to. When we use antibiotics to treat illness caused by bugs most of the bugs will die, but a few bugs that are a little bit different, can survive and then multiply. The surviving bugs are referred to as ‘superbugs’, they are able to block the antibiotic which makes them resistant to antibiotics. Due to an overuse of antibiotics, these resistant superbug numbers are increasing in people, in animals and the environment (water and soil). This is concerning for vulnerable groups such as older people in society.
Antibiotics and viral infections such as COVID-19
It is important to note that Antibiotics don’t viral infections such as influenza andCOVID-19. If you have a confirmed case of COVID-19 it is critical that you self-isolate. While there is not specific treatment for COVID-19, at the time of writing, many of the symptoms of COVID-19 can be treated at home. Click here for more information on how you can manage COVID-19 symptoms at home.
Antibiotics can cause more harm than good if taken unnecessarily.
Antibiotic Resistance -what can you do as a healthcare specialist?
What can we do to prevent overuse of antibiotics going forward?
In many cases, the preferred antibiotic is NO antibiotic. If you are a prescriber please ensure you are familiar with the most appropriate antibiotic to use, the correct length of time and do not use broad-spectrum antibiotics unless they are advised.
For guidance and information for prescribers visit antibioticprescribing.ie
Caring for yourself or your family
Think you need an antibiotic? Think again. Antibiotics do not treat a lot of common illnesses. Take care of yourself and learn to treat common illnesses that do not require antibiotics use. Visit www.undertheweather.iefor further information. If you need more specific advice talk to a pharmacist.
Information for patients on getting better without antibiotics is available on the HSE website www.undertheweather.ie