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Is a cold making you feel under the weather?  Antibiotics aren’t going to help

As winter bugs start doing the rounds, patients are reminded that antibiotics don’t work against viruses that cause colds, most coughs and sore throats. 

Self care is the best choice to treat minor ailments such as coughs, colds and sore throats, and they can be treated with over-the-counter remedies available from your local community pharmacy.  Pharmacies can also provide advice on a range of minor ailments including bugs and viruses, tummy troubles, women’s health and much more.

Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections, but as bacteria can adapt and find ways to survive the effects of antibiotics, it’s really important to only use them when absolutely necessary and as directed by your GP.  Your GP will only prescribe antibiotics when you need them. The more often we use antibiotics, the more likely it is that bacteria will become resistant to them and overuse is fuelling the spread of serious life threatening infections such as MRSA and C (Clostridium) Difficile. 

Howard Hughes is a local Pharmacist and a Clinical Director of NHS Bury Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), he said: “There is a common misconception that antibiotics can cure a cold or a case of flu.  If a cold is making you feel under the weather, antibiotics aren’t going to help.  The best treatment is through over-the-counter remedies, plenty of rest and rehydration.”

“If you are prescribed antibiotics for a bacterial infection, it’s really important that you take the complete course exactly as directed by your GP or pharmacist in order to get rid of the infection completely.” 


Date: 9th December 2013

Notes to Editor:

Find your nearest Community Pharmacy.

Pharmacy opening times over the holiday period.

FOR PRESS & MEDIA ENQUIRIES: contact Caroline Dearden, Communications and Engagement Manager on 0161 762 3106 or email buccg.communications@nhs.net

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