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Keep Antibiotics Working  

In support of World Antibiotic Awareness Week (13 - 19 November) and European Antibiotic Awareness Day (EAAD) (18 November 2017), Lambeth Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is calling all local residents to contribute towards keeping antibiotics working.

Why is this important?

Only 70 years after the introduction of antibiotics, we are facing the possibility of a future without effective drugs to treat bacterial infections. Without antibiotics, bacterial diseases would spread and could no longer be treated, causing death. Antibiotic resistance (the ability of bacteria to resist the action of  antibiotics) is a major global health crisis and we all have a role to play in preserving this precious resource.

Experts predict that in just over 30 years antibiotic resistance will kill more people than cancer and diabetes combined.

In fact, every year in England 5,000 deaths are caused because antibiotics no longer work for some infections.

What exactly we are asking from Lambeth residents?

 "Too often, people see antibiotics as a 'magic cure' for everything from coughs and colds to sore throats" explains Dr Adrian McLachlan, local GP and Chair of Lambeth Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).  "The truth is that antibiotics have little or no effect against such illnesses which are caused by viruses.  It's much more effective for you to ask your pharmacist for advice and self-care at home with simple, over the counter medication like paracetamol or ibuprofen."

"We're asking Lambeth residents to seek advice from a pharmacist, before visiting their GP and asking for antibiotics" continues Adrian. "Only taking antibiotics when you really need them will help to ensure that they continue to be effective weapons in the fight against infections in the future."

How can you keep antibiotics working?

  • Seek Advice from a qualified healthcare professional before taking antibiotics.
  • Once the doctor has confirmed that antibiotics are necessary, take them in a responsible manner, following the doctor's advice in terms of dosage and duration of time.
  • Avoid self-medication with antibiotics. Self-medication is when you use leftover antibiotics from previous treatments, or get antibiotics at the pharmacy without a prescription.
  • Don't share left-over antibiotics with other people.
  • Learnhow you can take care of yourself without antibiotics, if they are not necessary.