Resources for patients and the public

Antimicrobial resistance means that some antibiotics that used to work well for some infections, do not work anymore. Antibiotics are medicines used to prevent and treat infections in humans, animals, plants, and crops. Antimicrobial resistance is made worse by the overuse of antimicrobial medicines and by not using antimicrobial medicines correctly. The result of this is that common infections are becoming more difficult to treat and so called ‘superbugs’ are developing. This is a problem because many antibiotics do not work to treat ‘superbugs’.

Antibiotics should only be used when they are needed to fight serious infections.

We all have an important role to play in helping to prevent antimicrobial resistance by educating ourselves on how to treat some common illnesses, using antibiotics in the right way and never taking antibiotics when we do not need them.

How pharmacists can help

Pharmacists are experts about medicines and can provide you with more information about antibiotics, including when you or someone you care for needs an antibiotic. Some illnesses will not be treated by taking an antibiotic. Pharmacists can advise when you have a condition that does not need an antibiotic, and they can recommend medicines available in the pharmacy to manage your symptoms. Many pharmacists can also provide you with certain vaccines. Vaccines are a very effective and safe way of preventing infections.

Further information

If you would like to learn more about how to prevent antimicrobial resistance, you may wish to access the following useful resources: