Antibiotics should be preserved, warn doctors

A lot of people with coughs, colds and flu still visit the doctor expecting to be given antibiotics for their treatment and it can be difficult for the doctor to refuse.

This expectation puts a lot of pressure on the doctor to prescribe antibiotics which is often not necessary and causes increased antimicrobial resistance in the long run.

Bacteria will always adapt to try and survive the effects of the antibiotic and we have seen that the problem of resistance is growing.

GP patients who have had antibiotics in the last six months are twice as likely to have an infection with resistant bacteria.

This is why it is very important that we preserve the antibiotics that we have by not prescribing them where they are not necessary so that they are effective when we really do need them.

– Dr Cliodna McNulty, the HPA's lead on EAAD

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