What are antibiotics?

Antibiotics are important medicines used to treat infections caused by bacteria. Antibiotics DO NOT treat infections caused by viruses.

What are viral infections?

Viral infections are very common.  They include all colds and flu, and many infections of the nose, sinuses, ears, throat and chest (coughs / bronchitis).

Why should antibiotics NOT be used to treat viral infections?

• Antibiotics DO NOT kill viruses

• Taking antibiotics that you do not need, e.g. to treat viral infections can lead to antibiotic resistance.

• Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria are no longer killed by antibiotics.  As a result some antibiotics have become less effective against the bacterial infections they were designed to treat.

• Infections caused by bacteria resistant to antibiotics can be very difficult to treat.

• In recent years fewer new antibiotics have been discovered. We need to protect the antibiotics we have, to ensure they continue to work now and in the future.

When should I contact my doctor?

Contact your doctor if your symptoms start to change or get worse, or if you do not start to improve after a few days.

 Responsible use of antibiotics will help to ensure they are more likely to work when we really need them.

For further information please see the following leaflets:

Do I need an antibiotic – leaflet

Does my child need an antibiotic – Leaflet

If you have had confirmation that you can register with the surgery you may print your own forms to complete at home by using the following:-

If your records are with a GP surgery within the UK use an HS 200 Form HS200 to register when your records are held with a UK GP Surgery

If you do not currently have a GP in the UK then you must use an SCR1 form HSCR1 for those registering from outside of the UK