Handle antibiotics with care

19 Nov 2015

Survey results published this week by NPS MedicineWise show that three quarters of people know that taking antibiotics for cold and flu will contribute to antibiotics becoming less effective in the future, and two thirds know it puts them at risk of developing antibiotic resistant bacteria.

The survey findings, released as part of this week’s global Antibiotic Awareness Week, also showed that while fewer people are now asking for antibiotics when they have a cold or flu, (13 per cent this year, down from 17 per cent last year), nearly a third still mistakenly believe that antibiotics will assist in recovery from a cold or flu.

Evidence from general practice shows that good communication influences patient satisfaction more than a prescription for an antibiotic. To help facilitate conversations with patients about management of respiratory tract infections without antibiotics, NPS MedicineWise offers a symptomatic management pad. A suite of new Antibiotic Awareness Week resources are also available on the NPS website.

Also as part of Antibiotic Awareness Week, more than 28,000 GPs will receive a letter this week from NPS MedicineWise showing their confidential recent oral antibiotic prescribing patterns, which the NPS says will provide them an important opportunity to reflect on their own prescribing of antibiotics in comparison to that of their peers.