Antibiotic Awareness

Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats facing us today


Why it is relevant to you: Without effective antibiotics many routine treatments will become increasingly dangerous. Setting broken bones, basic operations, even chemotherapy all rely on access to antibiotics that work.


What we want you to do: To slow resistance we need to cut the use of unnecessary antibiotics. November 18th is European Antibiotic Awareness Day. As part of that we’re asking everyone in the UK, the public and the medical community to become Antibiotic Guardians.
 

Call to action: Choose one simple pledge about how you’ll make better use of antibiotics and help save this vital medicine from becoming obsolete.

 

 

Antibiotic Awareness

Antibiotic resistance is a growing problem, as a practice we are looking to reduce our prescribing of inappropriate antibiotics.  In the UK 80% of antibiotic prescribing happens in primary care so if we can focus on using them responsibly we should be able to help the resistance problem.

As a practice we have educated each other on appropriate prescribing and aim also to educate our patients.

Many acute illnesses (for example coughs, colds, sore throats, ear aches, sinus pains) are viral and can be managed by patients without the need for antibiotics, or an appointment with a doctor.

Below are some links to more information on management of these common conditions:

 

Cough

If you have no underlying medical conditions and develop an acute cough this is likely to be viral and self-limiting. A viral cough can last 2-3 weeks and antibiotics will make no difference to this duration.   If you are elderly, have underlying medical conditions or other new chest symptoms that you are worried about then a review would be advised.

http://www.rcgp.org.uk/clinical-and-research/toolkits/~/~/media/C5928E94CACD4B09B40770BBDD02C766.ashx

Sore Throat

Many sore throats are viral and self-limiting. Evidence states that by day 3 40% are better regardless of treatment.  The soreness can last 8 days.  The best management for sore throat is adequate pain relief and antibiotics will not help with this.  Even in patients with a fever and pus on their tonsils antibiotics are not always needed, your doctor will assess and explain their management plan to you.

http://www.rcgp.org.uk/clinical-and-research/toolkits/~/~/media/86D7988ED982422F98617B2238C3C6C8.ashx

Earache

Children often present with ear ache, otitis media is a common cause.   However, many of these infections are viral and adequate pain relief is all that is needed.  Studies show 80% of children will be better over 4 days without use of antibiotics.  It has also been shown that those receiving antibiotics are more likely to have subsequent infections.  If you have a young child < 2, discharge from the ear, bilateral ear ache or very high temperature then antibiotics may be considered and discussed.

Acute Sinusitis

Many sinus infections are viral and around 70% resolve in 7-10 days without antibiotics.  The use of adequate pain relief and steam inhalations may be of most benefit in controlling symptoms.

Fever In Children

http://www.rcgp.org.uk/clinical-and-research/toolkits/~/~/media/626C38C0529D4C0FB7724318FD25923A.ashx

Treating Your Infection Leaflet – how long do symptoms last and when to consult your GP

http://www.rcgp.org.uk/clinical-and-research/toolkits/~/~/media/2E1292605D174B318A5302223B04C175.ashx

Get Well Soon Without Antibiotics Leaflet

http://www.rcgp.org.uk/clinical-and-research/toolkits/~/~/media/AB8C27D6276E4CD488183214B81FFCD7.ashx

http://www.treatyourselfbetter.co.uk/

 

If however you are unsure about your symptoms or feel that you need to be seen and assessed if you have a particular concern, then we would be happy to see you.

Sometimes telephone advice may be all that is needed and we are happy to offer this also for individual problems if you are unsure and want advice.