Health board offers guidance on antibiotic use ahead of European Antibiotic Awareness Day

Hywel Dda University Health Board is calling on members of the public to think twice before asking for antibiotics to treat illnesses such as colds and flu, in a bid to tackle growing resistance to antibiotics.
As part of European Antibiotic Awareness Day (EAAD) on 18 November, doctors and non-medical prescribers are being asked to only prescribe antibiotics when needed, in order to raise awareness of global antibiotic resistance and encourage best practice among the general public, health workers and policy makers.
The campaign is also aimed at raising awareness about how to use antibiotics in a responsible way that will help keep them effective for the future.
Jenny Pugh Jones, Head of Medicines Management for Hywel Dda University Health Board said: "Inappropriate antibiotic prescribing drives antibiotic resistance. This is a global threat to public health and both healthcare professionals and the general public need to take this issue very seriously.
“We are encouraging prescribers not to over prescribe antibiotics, and asking patients to consider visiting their local pharmacy for coughs and colds rather than visiting their GP.”
Many people wrongly think the best way to treat colds is to take antibiotics however a cold is a virus which cannot be treated in this way. The most effective way to treat colds, coughs or sore throats is to drink plenty of fluids and to rest.
Colds can last about two weeks and may end with a cough and bringing up phlegm. There are many over the counter remedies to ease the symptoms such as paracetamol.
Visit: http://www.hywelddahb.wales.nhs.uk/choosewell to find out more about what advice and treatments are available from your local pharmacist.
However, if the cold lasts more than three weeks, or you become breathless or have chest pains, or already have a chest complaint, see your doctor.
If you are visiting hospital next week, drop by an information stand and talk to pharmacy staff about antibiotic resistance and the best treatment for seasonal ailments such as colds and flu.

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