What is antibiotic resistance, and why should we care? 

Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats facing us today. Without effective antibiotics, many routine treatments will become increasingly dangerous. Setting broken bones, basic operations and chemotherapy all rely on access to antibiotics that work. Find out what you can do to slow down antibiotic resistance.

Find out about the European Antibiotic Awareness Day

Transcript of What is antibiotic resistance, and why should we care?


When was the last time you had an infection?

It probably wasn't a great worry

because you know you can just get some antibiotics.

But the problem is that antibiotics don't kill bacteria

as well as they used to.

The bacteria have become resistant.

In fact, there are some bacteria

which are now totally resistant to all antibiotics.

This is one of the biggest threats to everyone on Earth

and the problem is only going to get worse.

Unless we act fast, and together,

we're going to enter an era where no antibiotics work.

It will be like going back to the 1930s, before they were discovered.

Infections that we now regard as trivial were often fatal.

Complex surgery was impossible because of the risk of infection.

In fact, modern medicine depends massively on antibiotics.

Did you know cancer treatment destroys the immune system?

Most patients need antibiotics to survive.

Imagine no more heart, bowel or bone operations.

No more cancer treatment.

This is where we're headed.

But, with three very simple steps, we can all become antibiotic guardians.

Step one, don't demand antibiotics from your doctor.

We've all been there.

Begging for antibiotics because you feel terrible

or, worse still, you're looking after a sick child.

We don't need them every time we're ill.

In fact, although everyday infections may make you feel unwell,

antibiotics make very little difference to colds, flus, sore throats and coughs.

So ask a pharmacist about over-the-counter remedies

that can treat your symptoms.

Step two, take antibiotics exactly as they're prescribed.

Never save them for use in the future, never give them to someone else.

They'll work better and the bacteria are less likely to become resistant.

Step three, spread the word. Tell your friends and family

to use antibiotics properly. Send them this video and share it.

Antibiotics are some of our most precious medicines

and we're going to lose them unless we all become antibiotic guardians.



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Pledge how you’ll make better use of antibiotics and help save this medicine from becoming obsolete

Antibiotic awareness

Antibiotic resistance is a problem in all healthcare settings across England and Europe. Find out what's done to combat antibiotic resistance