Warning over the risks of taking antibiotics when not needed

Residents are being warned the unnecessary use of antibiotics puts them at risk of more severe and longer illnesses, as the bugs the medicine kills become more resistant to the treatment.

The NHS is urging patients to trust doctors and nurses advice on whether they need antibiotics and if they are prescribed, to take them as directed, never save them for use later on or share with others.

 Antibiotics help ward off infections during surgery and treat serious bacterial infections, such as pneumonia, meningitis and sepsis. However, they have increasingly been used for everyday viral infections (such as colds or flu) where they are not effective.

Katy Jackson, Chief Pharmacist at Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Taking antibiotics when you don’t need them puts you and your family at risk of more severe or longer illness.

 “Antibiotics becoming less effective is one of the biggest threats facing medicine today. Everyone can play their part by taking doctors and nurses’ advice on antibiotics as it is vital we use this precious resource in the right way - the right drug, at the right dose, at the right time for the right duration.”

More information on effective antibiotic use.