21 Jul
2016
National Road Pharmacy

Antibiotic resistance poses a real threat to our public health. So, what do you need to know to help prevent it?

ANTIBIOTICS

  • Antibiotics are used to treat or prevent some types of bacterial infection. They work by killing bacteria or preventing them from reproducing and spreading.
  • Antibiotics aren’t effective against viral infections.
  • Many mild bacterial infections can also be cleared by your own immune system without using antibiotics, so they shouldn’t be routinely prescribed. It’s important that antibiotics are prescribed and taken correctly to help prevent the progression of antibiotic resistance.

 

WHAT IS ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE?

The overuse of antibiotics in recent years means they’re becoming less effective and has led to the emergence of “superbugs”.

 

WHAT CAN YOU DO TO REDUCE ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE?

  • Use antibiotics only as prescribed by your doctor.
  • Take the appropriate daily dosage and complete the entire course of treatment.
  • If you have an antibiotic prescription, ask your pharmacist what you should do if you forget to take a dose.
  • If for some reason you have left-over antibiotics, hand them in to your pharmacy for safe disposal. (The same applies to other medication.)
  • Never take antibiotics prescribed for another person.
  • Don’t pressure your doctor to give you an antibiotic prescription.
  • Practice good hygiene. Wash your hands regularly with soap and water.

 

WHAT ARE PROBIOTICS?

  • The root of the word probiotic comes from the Greek word pro, meaning “promoting”, and biotic, meaning “life”.
  • The World Health Organization’s 2001 definition of probiotics is “live micro-organisms which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host”.

Although more research is needed, there is encouraging evidence that probiotics may help in the following ways:

  • Treat diarrhoea, especially following treatment with certain antibiotics.
  • Prevent and treat vaginal yeast infections and urinary tract infections.
  • Treat irritable bowel syndrome.
  • Speed treatment of certain intestinal infections.
  • Prevent or reduce the severity of colds and flu.

For professional advice on how to take your antibiotics, as well as the correct probiotic to use in conjunction with it, chat to the pharmacists at National Road Pharmacy.

031 764 0311

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