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Don't overdo it: too many antibiotics can be risky
HEALTH chiefs have launched a campaign to stop people overusing antibiotics.
The Take Care, Not Antibiotics campaign was launched this week by the three Worcestershire clinical commissioning groups, which decide local health spending.
The campaign aims to prevent the spread of drug-resistant strains of potentially-deadly superbugs such as clostridium difficle (c.diff) and MRSA.
Inappropriate prescription and overuse of antibiotics can lead to infections such as c.diff, an infection which can occur in people who have recently had antibiotics that disrupts normal gut bacteria.
Symptoms can range from mild to severe and include diarrhoea, a high temperature (fever) and painful abdominal cramps.
Those most at risk of developing the condition are the elderly and those with long-term health conditions whose immunity may be lower.
Jo Galloway, executive nurse, quality and patient safety, NHS Redditch and Bromsgrove CCG and NHS Wyre Forest CCG, said: “This campaign highlights to the public how antibiotics can act against a range of bacteria, but can also interfere with the healthy balance of bacteria causing other symptoms. It is so important that people use antibiotics in the right way, to slow down antibiotic resistance and to make sure antibiotics remain effective for us and future generations.”
Measures to prevent the spread of antibiotic resistant infections such as c.diff include only using antibiotics when they have been prescribed for that patient by their doctor and rest and drink plenty of fluids to recover from a cold.
A Key Facts About Antibiotics leaflet and an awareness poster have been produced.
Resources for the campaign can be downloaded from South Worcestershire Clinical Commissioning Group’s website southworcsccg.nhs.uk/news/campaigns.