Islanders Urged To Cut Down Antibiotic Use
14th November 2017
Antibiotics are being prescribed less often to try and prevent people building up a resistance to them.
Patients in Jersey are being told not to expect antibiotics when they are sick, because in some cases they don’t actually help.
Doctors are warning they will only hand them out if they are really needed – and in many cases will give advice instead.
An average 16 fewer prescriptions were issued each day in July compared to the same month last year, but Health and Social Services says that is not enough of a reduction.
While they are now being prescribed less often, the current rate is still higher than in the UK or elsewhere in Europe.
Dr Sarah Whiteman, the Director of Primary Care, explains why the medicines mustn’t be overused:
“As we move into winter, GPs expect to see more patients in their surgeries with coughs, sore throats, blocked or runny noses. Although studies show the majority of these ailments clear up on their own, it’s tempting to seek antibiotics, especially when we have such busy lives and just want to feel better as quickly as possible.
“However, evidence tells doctors that treating symptoms using over-the-counter remedies can improve how we feel and that antibiotics wouldn’t make any difference to the length of time it takes us to recover. Patients should now expect doctors to provide advice rather than prescribe antibiotics straight away.”