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Seriously is a campaign that raises awareness of antibiotic resistance and encourage the public to pledge to keep antibiotics working by making four simple pledges.

WHY is this important?

Antimicrobial resistance (or antibiotic resistance) is considered by the World Health Organisation to be one of today's biggest threats to global health. Like the COVID-19 pandemic, antimicrobial resistance is a health emergency.

The overuse of antibiotics in recent years means they’re becoming less effective and has led to the emergence of “superbugs”. These are strains of bacteria that have developed resistance to many different types of antibiotic.

We can all play our part in making small changes which will make a difference to the future of antibiotics and other life saving treatments which need them. If antibiotics are not used appropriately, then this increases the chance of them not working in the future.

WHAT are the alternative treatments?

Infections that our bodies are good at fighting off on their own, like coughs, colds, sore throats and flu, should be treated without antibiotics most of the time.

Listen to your body and if you are tired get some rest until you feel better. Treat your symptoms by using medicines that can be bought at a local pharmacy or retail outlet, which work to relieve symptoms while your body fights the virus.

You can talk to a pharmacist about the different options available.

WHEN should I use antibiotics?

The more antibiotics you take, the more bacteria builds a resistance to those antibiotics, meaning they will not work as well to fight off that infection.

Antibiotics are needed for serious bacterial infections, such as sepsis, pneumonia, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), meningococcal meningitis.

If you are feeling under the weather, or have a cold, flu or sore throat, you can self-care by getting plenty of rest and keeping well hydrated.

HOW should I take them, if prescribed?

For most infections you take antibiotics for, you’ll start to feel better after a few days, but that doesn’t mean you should stop taking your course. If you stop your treatment early the infection could come back. It is important to always complete the course exactly as your doctor has advised.

Different antibiotics are prescribed to different people for different reasons, even if symptoms are similar. Sharing them with friends and family, or storing them for the future can do more harm than good. It is important to dispose of unused antibiotics by taking them to your local pharmacy.

WHO can I speak to for advice on treatments?

Speak to your pharmacist who can help you choose the medicine that will work best for you, advise you on whether you needto see a doctor and provide guidance on self care and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

If you are worried that your symptoms might be something more severe then you can visit or call NHS 111.

Pledge now to act differently next time


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