Newham GP and CCG chair Dr Prakash Chandra on using antibiotics the right way

PUBLISHED: 14:05 08 November 2016 | UPDATED: 14:05 08 November 2016

Andrew Baker. 07977074356

This month, I’d like to remind everyone living and working in Newham how important it is to make sure that they are using antibiotics in the right way.

Antibiotics are essential medicines for treating bacterial infections, but they are increasingly becoming less effective. Bacteria are constantly adapting and finding new ways to become resistant.

This means that the medicine no longer works. The more you use an antibiotic, the more bacteria become resistant to it. Without effective antibiotics, many routine treatments – from setting bones to basic operations – will become more dangerous.

Antibiotic resistance is a worldwide problem, and everyone needs to play their part in reducing it.

The first thing to remember is that antibiotics should only be taken if they have been prescribed by your doctor. As GPs, we’re here to help you get well. Antibiotics aren’t effective against common ailments caused by viruses – such as the common cold and most coughs, sore throats or earaches – so your doctor will only prescribe them if you really need them. If you are prescribed antibiotics, these should be taken as directed and you should always complete the course. They should never be saved for later use or shared with others.

You should never buy antibiotics over the counter without a prescription.

Looking after yourself and keeping fit and healthy can make all the difference in avoiding poor health.

Your pharmacist is well placed to give you advice and treatment for a whole range of conditions. For coughs and colds, a trip to the pharmacy, drinking plenty of fluids and resting at home will probably be the best cure.

Basic medical supplies, such as paracetamol, aspirin, indigestion medication, plasters or a thermometer, are also useful to have available at home. More from Dr Chandra

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