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World Antibiotic Awareness Week (16-22 November)

Antibiotic Guardian

(16-22 November 2015)

Key Messages

  • Antibiotics are essential medicines for treating bacterial infections in both humans and animals
  • Antibiotics are losing their effectiveness at an increasing rate
  • Bacteria can adapt and find ways to survive the effects of an antibiotic. They become ‘antibiotic resistant’, so that the antibiotic no longer works. The more you use an antibiotic, the more bacteria become resistant to it
  • Antibiotics should be taken as prescribed, never save for later or shared with others; it is important to use antibiotics in the right way, the right drug, at the right dose, at the right time for the right duration. Appropriate use of antibiotics will slow down the development of antibiotic resistance
  • There are very few new antibiotics in the development pipeline, which is why it is important we use our existing antibiotics wisely and make sure these life-saving medicines continue to stay effective for ourselves and future generations
  • Many antibiotics are prescribed and used for mild infections when they don’t need to be. All colds and most coughs, sinusitis, otitis media (earache) and sore throats often get better without antibiotics
  • Community pharmacists are well placed to help provide advice on over the counter medicines to treat symptoms
  • Individuals (the public, healthcare professionals and leaders) can take action by choosing a pledge and becoming an Antibiotic Guardian



Step 1: 

Don’t ask for antibiotics, consider alternatives to antibiotics and to ask a pharmacist about over the counter remedies that can help in the first instance.

Step 2:

Take antibiotics exactly as prescribed, never save them for future use, never share them with others

Step 3:

To spread the word and share the video

Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats facing us today.

Why it is relevant to you: without effective antibiotics many routine treatments will become increasingly dangerous. Setting broken bones, basic operations, even chemotherapy and animal health all rely on access to antibiotics that work.

What we want you to do: To slow resistance we need to cut the unnecessary use of antibiotics. We invite the public, students and educators, farmers, the veterinary and medical communities and professional organisations, to become Antibiotic Guardians.

Call to action: Choose one simple pledge about how you’ll make better use of antibiotics and help save these vital medicines from becoming obsolete.

Antibiotic Guardian supports the UK Antimicrobial Resistance strategy, European Antibiotic Awareness Day 

(18 November) and World Antibiotic Awareness Week (16-22 November)


Treat Yourself Better! Learn how to treat your cold and flu symptoms

Did you know that antibiotics will NOT treat cold and flu  symptoms? Take a look at Treat Yourself Better is a day to day guide to cold and flu symptoms and self-treatment with the help of your pharmacist. It also includes a useful symptoms checker so you will feel safe knowing when to seek advice from your doctor or when you can seek advice from your pharmacist.

e-Bug Science Show

The e-Bug Virtual Science Show is a virtual funfair of games to teach us about microbes, how they spread, how we can stop them spreading.  You can learn about how antibiotics are special medicines which kill bacteria.

Quizzes and crosswords on antibiotic resistance

Test and improve your knowledge with these quizzes and crossword puzzles on antibiotic resistance. 


Posters and leaflets

See and download a range of helpful posters and leaflets. 


World Antibiotic Awareness Week

Did you know that there are many antibiotic awareness weeks held across the globe every year? For 2015 the World Health Organisation has launched World Antibiotic Awareness Week, which will take place between the 16-22 November.

World Antibiotic Awareness Week aims to increase awareness of global antibiotic resistance and to encourage best practices among the general public, health workers and policy makers to avoid the further emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance.  The theme of the campaign, Antibiotics: Handle with Care, demonstrates that antibiotics are a precious resource and should be preserved. They should be used to treat bacterial infections, only when prescribed by a certified health professional. Antibiotics should never be shared and the full course of treatment should be completed – not saved for the future.

Listen to your gut


Find out more about all the above at: