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16 November 2016
Press release

Take care, not antibiotics

Antibiotics are not a miracle cure for winter coughs, colds and sore throats so please don’t ask your GP to prescribe them.

That’s the message ahead of European Antibiotics Awareness Day (18 November), as people are being reminded that their local pharmacy is the best place to go for help and advice for common winter illnesses.

Dr Mark Shenton, a GP in Stowmarket and chairman of  NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group said: “Over the next few months it’s inevitable that many people will find themselves experiencing a cough, cold or sore throat. These conditions are caused by a virus and antibiotics don’t work on them.

“The best course of action is to take paracetamol or ibuprofen, which are effective in lowering temperatures and relieving pain. Then it is a good idea to visit your local pharmacy where you will be able to get advice on what to do and be able to buy any medicine over-the-counter if you need it.

“If you have a winter cough, cold or sore throat please don’t make an appointment with your GP expecting to get a prescription for antibiotics. Your GP won’t give you a prescription. It’s far better that you speak to your pharmacist if you want any advice on treating common winter illnesses."

Dr Christopher Browning, a GP in Long Melford and chairman of NHS West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group said: “It is important that we use antibiotics in the right way, and despite many people believing antibiotics are a cure-all medicine, they are not.

“No one enjoys having a cough or cold and it’s natural to want to feel better as quickly as possible. However, antibiotics will not make you better. The best way to recover is to drink lots of fluids, keep warm and get plenty of rest.”

Useful advice to help keep you and your family well this winter is available on the Stay Well This Winter website HERE

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