You can help to avoid antibiotic resistance by only taking antibiotics when you really need them, and when they have been recommended for you by a healthcare professional.
If you are prescribed an antibiotic, follow the directions for use carefully and always remember to complete the full recommended course.
Antibiotics may cause side-effects such as thrush, diarrhoea, rash and stomach upset. They can also cause allergic reactions, which may occasionally be severe. It is important to discuss all antibiotic treatments fully with your healthcare professional.
Both the NHS and health organisations across the world are trying to reduce the use of antibiotics, especially for health problems that are not serious.
For example, antibiotics are no longer routinely used to treat:
- chest infections
- ear infections in children
- sore throat
When it comes to antibiotics, take your doctor’s advice on whether you need them or not. Antibiotic resistance is a big problem – taking antibiotics when you do not need them can mean they will not work for you in the future.