You may be used to being prescribed antibiotics when you visit your GP with an infection, but with the risk of becoming resistant to antibiotics, are GPs in Leeds still prescribing them?
Here’s everything you need to know.
The NHS notes that “antibiotics are used to treat or prevent some types of bacterial infection.
“They work by killing bacteria or preventing them from reproducing and spreading. But they don’t work for everything.
“When it comes to antibiotics, take your doctor’s advice. Antibiotics don't work for viral infections such as colds and flu, and most coughs and sore throats.
“Many mild bacterial infections also get better on their own without using antibiotics.
Taking antibiotics when you don’t need them puts you and your family at risk of a longer and more severe illness.”
When are antibiotics used?
The NHS explains that antibiotics may be used to treat bacterial infections that:
-are unlikely to clear up without antibiotics
-could infect others unless treated
-could take too long to clear without treatment
-carry a risk of more serious complications
People at a high risk of infection may also be given antibiotics as a precaution, known as antibiotic prophylaxis.
Have GPs in Leeds stopped prescribing antibiotics?
“Both the NHS and health organisations across the world are trying to reduce the use of antibiotics, especially for conditions that aren't serious,” said the NHS.
“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 antibiotics.”
However, Ylva Jaramba, Medicines Optimisation Pharmacist for NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group explains that GPs no longer prescribing antibiotics is “not true”.
“You might have heard of different campaigns saying not to go to your GP for antibiotics but this is for specific things like viral infections, colds and the common flu,” says Jaramba.
“We are not saying do not go to your GP for antibiotics but there are certain things you do not need antibiotics for.
“If you feel like you have got an infection that is not caused by a virus, for example the common cold, then definitely go and see the doctor and they will decide whether you need antibiotics or not.
“It just varies depending on what the problem is.”
For more information about the use of antibiotics visit the NHS website.