Antibiotic resistance continues to pose a major risk to health.

The Irish Pharmacy Union is trying to highlight correct use of the drugs ahead of European Antibiotics Awareness Day this Sunday.

The IPU says patients should not take antibiotics for common complaints such as coughs, colds or sore throats because they do not work on viral illnesses.

The IPU’s President, Daragh Connolly, says health services are experiencing increased levels of antibiotic resistance which could impact everyday procedures.

“It is essential that everyone takes responsibility for ensuring that antibiotics are only used when absolutely necessary,” said Mr Connolly,

“The key message is that antibiotics should only ever be taken when a patient actually requires them to treat a specific bacterial infection. For anyone suffering from coughs, colds, sore throat, sinusitis, flu, vomiting and diarrhoea, antibiotics will not work and should not be taken.

“It is concerning that, at a time when we should be reducing our use of antibiotics, in the first half of this year the rate of antibiotic consumption in Ireland has actually increased, with Irish people taking 7% more antibiotics than they were 15 years ago.

“We are taking too many antibiotics and this is causing the very concerning rise in antibiotic resistance. If this problem isn’t tackled, the antibiotics used to treat infections today will become ineffective or may stop working altogether in the future.”

  • The IPU offered advice on when and when not to take antibiotics:
  • Don’t take antibiotics for colds and flu; sore throat, coughs, vomiting and diarrhoea
  • If you do need to take an antibiotic, take it exactly as prescribed and finish the full course, even if you are feeling better
  • Do not save antibiotics for later use or share them with others
  • Don’t expect to be prescribed antibiotics for viral conditions.

– Digital Desk

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