- Pharmacists warn antibiotics should only be used when prescribed and when absolutely necessary
- Overuse and misuse of antibiotics put patients' health at risk
20 November 2014: Pharmacists today warned that antibiotics should only be used when prescribed and when absolutely necessary. The overuse and misuse of antibiotics is detrimental to the future health of patients and is putting patients at risk, pharmacists say. Repeated and improper use of antibiotics has implications not only for individual patients but also for the wider community, as excessive use leads to antibiotic resistant bacteria that affects us all.
Speaking at the launch today of a campaign to highlight Antibiotic Awareness, in association with the Department of Health, HSE, ICGP, RCPI and RCSI, Kathy Maher, President of the IPU and community pharmacist, said, "Overuse of antibiotics can lead to bacteria becoming resistant to the antibiotic. This means that the antibiotics used to treat infections today will become ineffective or will stop working altogether in the future. Antibiotics are only effective for bacterial infections and do not work for the common cold, cough, sore throat or sinus infection, which are caused by viruses. So it is up to all of us to play our part by taking responsibility for our own health and not using antibiotics unless absolutely necessary. By practising this self-care philosophy, we are safeguarding antibiotics for future generations."