The wonder of antibiotics
Taking antibiotics when you don’t need them puts you at risk, according to a new campaign by Public Health England. People are being urged to take their health professional’s advice and not to push for an antibiotic prescription.
Taking antibiotics unnecessarily encourages harmful bacteria that live inside you to become resistant to those antibiotics. That means that they may not work when you really need them, putting you and your family at risk of a more severe or longer illness.
It is estimated that 5,000 deaths are caused every year in England because antibiotics no longer work for some infections and this figure is set to rise. Experts predict that in just over 30 years antibiotic resistance will kill more people than cancer and diabetes combined.
For tips about how to look after yourself and your family without antibiotics, or for more information, visit nhs.uk/keepantibioticsworking
“I never truly understood the impact of antibiotic resistance until my dad became seriously ill with leukaemia. Chemotherapy was amazing at attacking his leukemic cells, but his immune system took a battering and he became vulnerable to all kinds of infection. He ended up with pneumonia, cellulitis and an eye infection and his body was completely unequipped to fight back.
“Thank goodness he was given antibiotics which worked and got him better. But if we carry on using antibiotics when we don’t really need them, these medicines will stop working. Stories like his will have a different ending.”
Samantha Brown – Head of Communications, Bristol Community Health