Keep Antibiotics Working
Taking antibiotics encourages harmful bacteria that live inside you to become resistant. More and more bacteria are becoming resistant to available antibiotics, limiting the options available to clinicians. Using antibiotics when you don’t need them, for everyday illnesses, may mean they no longer work when you really need them.
Whilst antibiotics are vital for treating many infections, there is evidence that antibiotics are often used when they are not needed, for example, for viral infections such as colds or flu where they are not effective or for illnesses that can get better by themselves.
Research has shown that this is, at least in part, due to patients expecting antibiotics, without understanding that they may not be effective for their illness. The ‘Keep Antibiotics Working’ campaign therefore aims to reduce patient expectations for antibiotics.
The campaign key messages are:
- Taking antibiotics when you don’t need them puts you and your family at risk.
- Taking antibiotics encourages harmful bacteria that live inside you to become resistant. That means that antibiotics may not work when you really need them.
- Always take your doctor’s advice on antibiotics
Patient information for download