Why you should only take antibiotics when they are needed
  • Bacteria can adapt and find ways to survive the effects of an antibiotic. They become 'antibiotic resistant' so that the antibiotic no longer works.
  • The more we use antibiotics, the greater the chance that bacteria will become resistant to them so that they no longer work. If we all try to reduce their usage, antibiotics will be more likely to work when we really need them.
  • Antibiotic-resistant bacteria don’t just infect you, they can spread to other people in close contact with you.
  • Some antibiotics can cause reactions such as: rashes, thrush, stomach pains, diarrhoea, or being sick if you drink alcohol and reactions to sunlight.
  • Colds and most coughs, sinusitis, sore throats, ear and other infections often get better without antibiotics, as body can usually fight these infections on its own. The table shows you how long these illnesses normally last:  
 What you can do to ease the symptoms of common infections
  • Have plenty of rest.
  • Drink enough fluids to avoid feeling thirsty
  • Ask your local pharmacist to recommend medicines to help your pain or other symptoms
  • Fever is a sign the body is fighting the infection and usually gets better by itself in most cases
  • You can use paracetamol (and/or ibuprofen) if you or your child is uncomfortable as a result of a fever


Call 111 when you need medical help fast but it’s not a 999 emergencyNHS ChoicesThis site is brought to you by My Surgery Website