All Australians need to act to reduce antibiotic resistance.
What you can do
- Prevent infections by regularly washing your hands and keeping up to date with vaccinations
- Prevent food-borne infections by washing fruits and vegetables and cooking food properly
- Understand that antibiotics only work against bacteria. They do not work for colds and flus which are caused by viruses
- Don’t pressure your health professional for antibiotics if they say you don’t need them, ask about other ways to relieve your symptoms
- Only take antibiotics when they are prescribed for you, don’t use or share leftover antibiotics
- Follow your health professional’s instructions when you are prescribed antibiotics
Why you need to take action
- Antibiotic resistance is happening now in Australia and around the world.
- The more we use antibiotics, the more chance bacteria have to develop resistance to them.
- You don’t become resistant to antibiotics, bacteria do. These resistant bacteria can then spread to other people.
- Antibiotics are overused in human health in Australia.
- Antibiotics will not make you better if you have an infection caused by a virus. This includes most sore throats, ear infections, coughs and colds.
- If you are prescribed antibiotics for a bacterial infection, use them as directed by your health professional.
- Preventing infections and their spread helps stop antibiotic resistance by reducing the need for antibiotics.
- Antibiotic resistance can also affect your pets.
Another reason to reduce antibiotic use
Antibiotics are a medicine and, like all medicines, they can cause side effects. When you take antibiotics when they are not needed, you are taking an unnecessary risk. More information about antibiotics can be found on the NPS MedicineWise webpage Antibiotics, explained.