November 28, 2021

Antibiotics ‘Not The Answer’ For COVID, Flu and Other Conditions

Someone empties pills from a jarNHS health professionals are urging residents of Sefton to ‘think twice’ before requesting antibiotics to treat conditions such as COVID-19, flu and toothaches.

Drug resistant germs

Their advice precedes this year’s Global Antimicrobial Awareness Week, which aims to encourage the responsible use of antibiotics and other antimicrobial drugs to prevent the spread of dangerous and drug-resistant germs.

Over time, excessive or inappropriate use of drugs such as antibiotics can lead to antimicrobial resistance (AMR), when bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites change over time and become resistant to drugs. This makes infections more difficult to treat and increases the risk of spreading disease, serious illness and death.

Residents of Sefton are advised not to take antibiotics when they do not need them and, if in doubt, to follow the advice of their doctor, nurse or pharmacist.


Susanne Lynch MBE, head of drug management at the NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and the NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said: “Antibiotics are not always the answer. They are not effective against the COVID-19 virus or against everyday viral infections like the common cold or the flu, so ask your doctor or pharmacist for the right treatment for your condition.

“Your doctor will prescribe antibiotics when they are needed and when they are effective against a bacterial infection. Therefore, only take these types of medications when advised.

“Patients taking antibiotics put us all at unnecessary increased risk because it means dangerous germs can start to develop resistance to these drugs, which means they cannot be treated in the future. “

Best options

Dr Yvonne Dailey, senior dental public health consultant at NHS England and NHS Improvement – North West, said:

“It’s also important to remember that there are solutions other than antibiotics for dental problems like toothaches or tooth abscesses. Antibiotics aren’t always the best way to treat tooth decay, gum disease, or jaw problems, and they’re usually not needed.

“Always talk to your dentist if you have any concerns about pain, swelling, bumps or ulcers in your mouth, including if you are concerned about oral cancer. They need to examine you and find out the cause of your problems before they can advise you on the best options to treat you.

Residents of Sefton who are unwell and need medical advice for non-emergency conditions are advised to call 111 or visit NHS 111 online.

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