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Published on 5 February 2008

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UK Government launches campaign to conserve antibiotics

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The UK’s Department of Health is launching a national campaign to discourage over-use of antibiotics, in order to tackle infections.

Doctors are to be reminded of the problem of antibiotic resistance and patients of appropriate and inappropriate use of antibiotics.

Although the Government has attempted to reduce over-reliance on such medication, bacterial resistance is on the increase.

Chief Medical Officer, Liam Donaldson said:

“Antibiotic resistance is becoming more common and in recent years fewer new antibiotics have been discovered. Antibiotics treat bacterial infections but all colds and most coughs and sore throats are caused by viruses so cannot be cured with antibiotics.

“The more we take antibiotics when they are not necessary, the more bacteria will become resistant to them. We must all play a part in conserving antibiotics as a valuable clinical resource.

“Patients can take other remedies to help relieve the symptoms of a cough or cold. Their pharmacist is well placed to give them advice.”

Although patients are being discouraged for requested antibiotics from doctors “just in case”, the Government is reminding patients to take the compounds as prescribed, or under the direction of a doctor or pharmacist.

Adverts will appear in national newspapers and magazines. Posters and leaflets will also be placed in GPs surgeries and pharmacies.

Department of Health



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