Antibiotics are important medicines for treating bacterial infections, but are losing their effectiveness at an increasing rate. Bacteria adapt and ﬁnd new ways to survive the effects of an antibiotic and become resistant, meaning that the antibiotic no longer works. This resistance to antibiotics is one of the most significant threats to the safety of patients in Europe.
Members of the public are encouraged to take a pledge and become an Antibiotic Guardian at antibioticguardian.com. By making the pledge, you can will find out how you can make better use of antibiotics and help to stop this vital medicine from becoming obsolete.
Inappropriate use includes:
- Not taking your antibiotics as prescribed
- Skipping doses of antibiotics
- Not taking antibiotics at regular intervals
- Saving some for later
To slow down the development of antibiotic resistance, it is important to use antibiotics in the right way, to use the right drug, at the right dose, at the right time, for the right duration. Antibiotics should be taken as prescribed, never saved for later or shared with others.
GPs and other clinicians also have a role to play by not prescribing them inappropriately.