Did you know that your body can become resistant to antibiotics, so that it is harder for you to fight an infection?
This World Antibiotic Awareness Week (18-24 November), the local NHS is continuing to fight to save this vital resource, with NHS Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) encouraging local people to help keep antibiotics working.
Taking antibiotics when you don’t need them puts you and those around you at risk, by encouraging harmful bacteria that live inside your body to become resistant; this is known as antimicrobial resistance (AMR). This means that antibiotics may not work when you really need them, creating the possibility of a more severe or longer illness.
Nationally, the number of antibiotic prescriptions have reduced by 15% since 2015 – that’s 5.6 million less prescriptions. However, there is still more that can be done.
Throughout November, students from Aston University will be on-site at some GP practices across Birmingham and Solihull to answer any questions patients or practice staff may have, and to inform patients of the importance of not overusing antibiotics.
Dr Richard Mendelsohn, Chief Medical Officer at NHS Birmingham and Solihull CCG, said: “People in Birmingham and Solihull can also do their part to help reduce antibiotic resistance, by taking their doctor or nurse’s advice when it comes to using antibiotics.
“If you are prescribed antibiotics, it is crucial that you take the full course of medication as directed by your GP or nurse. Antibiotics should never be shared with others, or saved for another time.
“It is important to understand how to look after yourself and your family when antibiotics are not needed, for example by asking your pharmacist for advice on alternative over-the-counter medicines.”
More information on antibiotics awareness can be found on the NHS Birmingham and Solihull CCG website.
You can pledge to become an Antibiotic Guardian here.