Advice on Taking Antibiotics.
Taking antibiotics encourages harmful bacteria that live inside you to become resistant. That means that antibiotics may not work when you really need them. This puts you and your family at risk of a more severe or longer illness.
Remember, if you are feeling unwell, antibiotics aren't always the answer.
How to Look After Your Family.
If you or a family member are feeling unwell, have a cold or flu and you haven't been prescribed antibiotics, here are some effective self-care ways to make you feel better:
- Ask your pharmacist to recommend medicines to help with symptoms or pain.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Make sure you or your child drink enough to avoid feeling thirsty.
- Fever is a sign the body is fighting the infection and usually gets better by itself in most cases. You can use Paracetamol if you or your child are uncomfortable as a result of a fever.
- Make sure to use a tissue for your nose and wash your hands frequently to avoid spreading your infection to family and friends.
How Long Should my Symptoms Last For?
Here are a few guidelines to help you judge how long some common illnesses and symptoms should last for:
Most people are better by
Earache (middle ear infection)
Cough or bronchitis
If you you are not starting to improve by these guide times, contact your GP or call NHS 111
These symptoms are possible signs of serious illness and should be assessed urgently:
- If your skin is very cold or has a strange colour, or you develop an unusual rash.
- If you feel confused or have slurred speech or are very drowsy.
- If you have difficulty breathing, are breathing quickly, turning blue around the lips and skin below the mouth or the skin between or above the ribs getting sucked or pulled in with every breath.
- If you develop a severe headache and are sick.
- If you develop chest pain.
- If you have difficulty swallowing or are drooling.
- If you cough up blood.
- If you are feeling a lot worse.
If you or your child has any of these symptoms, are getting worse or are sicker than you would expect to be (even if your/their temperature falls), trust your instincts and seek medical advice urgently from NHS 111 or your GP. If a child under the age of 5 has any of the symptoms 1-3, go to A&E immediately or call 999.
When Antibiotics ARE Needed.
Antibiotics are needed for serious bacterial infections including:
- Urinary tract infections
- Sexually transmitted infections like gonorrhoea
- Meningococcal meningitis
If you are worried, speak to your doctor who will be able to advise you on the best treatment for your symptoms.
Remember, never share antibiotics or keep for later use.
Did you know?
- One out of every four people who go to A&E could have been treated elsewhere in the community, or could have self-treated.
- Every time someone goes to A&E and is discharged without needing further treatment, the cost to the NHS is £124.
Remember A&E and 999 services are for life-threatening and emergency conditions only.
Common Ailments That can be Self-Managed.
We are keen to help patients improve on self-help and hope that the following information will offer some insight into that.
Take a look and see if you can improve your own understanding of your health and well-being! Please encourage others to look here too.
Here is a list of ailments that can be safely self-managed. You will see that you can take a look via the hyperlink at the other websites which can offer you further information about managing your condition.