Using antibiotics correctly and preventing resistance
The development of antibiotics was one of the greatest discoveries in modern medicine. They fight bacteria and can cure life-threatening infectious diseases such as pneumonia, for which there was previously no effective treatment. But the widespread and improper use of antibiotics means that more and more bacteria are becoming resistant to this kind of medication. So it is especially important to use them correctly.
Antibiotics can save lives, relieve the symptoms of bacterial infections and help us to recover faster. But treatment with antibiotics also has side effects. Nausea or diarrhea are common, for example.
Antibiotics are also used far too often, and improper use is fairly widespread. This has caused many different types of bacteria to become resistant (unresponsive) to antibiotics. Because resistance has become more common, many diseases can no longer be treated as well as they could in the past.
- Antibiotics only fight bacteria. Many infections are caused by viruses and can't be treated using antibiotics – examples include respiratory illnesses such as a cough, stuffy nose, bronchitis or the flu.
- Excessive and improper use of antibiotics causes side effects, and in the long term reduces their effectiveness.