The Treat Yourself Better Without Antibiotics website is full of information to help people understand when how long they can expect their symptoms to last, when they need to see a doctor and when they would be better off visiting their local pharmacist for advice. You can visit the website at www.treatyourselfbetter.co.uk.
The campaign has been launched after new research reveals that nearly half the UK population (45%) believe antibiotics can treat cold and flu, and slightly more (48%) admit to having visited their GP with an expectation of being prescribed them for this purpose. In fact, antibiotics do not have any effect against symptoms like cold and flu as these are caused by viruses and antibiotics only work against bacteria.
Over-use of antibiotics is a serious issue which can lead to dangerous bacteria developing immunity. What were previously simply treatable infections are becoming serious and in some cases life-threatening.
Dr John Partridge, Clinical Director for the Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), says:
“Antibiotics are a precious resource and need to be used carefully. The majority of upper respiratory tract infections are known to be viral and antibiotics will not be effective”.
Treat Yourself Better Without Antibiotics is a new campaign from Pharmacy Voice and the PAGB which aims to educate people on normal symptom duration and provide advice on self-treatment with pharmacy support, in order to help people avoid unnecessary visits to their GP surgery, which costs the NHS £35.2 million a year and countless practice hours.
Supported by a wide range of public health organisations including the Department of Health and Public Health England through European Antibiotic Awareness Day, the Treat Yourself Better Without Antibiotics campaign urges people to better self-treat winter ailments such as coughs and colds rather than going to the GP and asking for antibiotics.