Date: 02/12/2008 Category: Medway PCT
Use antibiotics wisely - that’s the message this winter as residents look to keep infections away. NHS Medway is urging the community to think twice before reaching for antibiotics as the magic potion to cure all illnesses. Antibiotics are medicines used to treat infections caused by bacteria. They can do nothing to fight the viruses that cause things like colds and flu. Primary Care Trust Antibiotic Pharmacist Janice Moorekite said: “If you take antibiotics for the wrong reasons the bacteria in the body will build up a resistance to it and the antibiotics will not work to treat illnesses in the future.” People should take the advice of either their doctor or pharmacist and take medicines as prescribed until the course is complete. Bacteria, including some which can cause hospital infections such as MRSA, build up more resistance to antibiotics the more they are used. Janice added: “We know coughs and colds get better just as quickly without antibiotics. Antibiotics do not work against colds or flu.” The doctor will only prescribe antibiotics when they are needed such as when a patient has a kidney infection or pneumonia. For further information call NHS Medway Antibiotic Pharmacist Janice Moorekite on 01634 382895. Fact file: To treat colds, coughs or sore throats drink plenty of water and rest. Colds can last up to a fortnight and over-the-counter remedies can help ease symptoms. See your doctor if a cold lasts more than three weeks or you become breathless or have chest pains, or already have a chest complaint.