Antibiotics are not always the answer

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Antibiotics are not always the answer

Taking antibiotics when you don’t need them can make you become resistant to the, which means that antibiotics may not work when you really need them.

If you or a family member feel unwell, have a cold or flu and you haven’t been prescribed antibiotics, there are some effective self-care ways to help 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 you 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: Common illnesses Most people are better by Earache (middle ear infection) 8 days Sore throat 7–8 days Sinusitis (adults only) 14–21 days Cold 14 days Cough or bronchitis 21 days.

Common Illnesses Most people are better by
Earache (Middle ear infection) 8 days
Sore throat 7 – 8 days
Sinusitis (adults only) 14 – 21 days
Cold 14 days
Cough or bronchitis 21 days

If you’re not starting to feel better by these guide times, contact your GP or call NHS 111.

For more information, and what signs you need to look out for which may be symptoms of a more serious conditions, download Public Health Englands Antibiotics Leaflet

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