GENERAL PRACTITIONERS REITERATE THAT ANTIBIOTICS DO NOT CURE VIRAL INFECTIONS OR PROVIDE PAIN RELIEF  On European Antiobiotic Awareness Day (EAAD) (Nov 18th), Dr Nuala O’Connor, Irish College of General Practitioners, Lead Advisor on Antibiotic Resistance said, “Antibiotics are not effective for the treatment of viruses- they only kill bacteria.”

“Most patients coming to see their GP with symptoms of infection such as temperature, coughs, sore throat ear ache, stuffy noses, sinus symptoms, flu aches and pains rashes vomiting and diarrhoea have viral infections”

“Antibiotics will do nothing to help the symptoms of viral infections. They will not make you feel better. They will not reduce a fever; they will not relieve a cough; they will not relieve pain.”  

“Your own immune system can fight viruses if you give it chance.  Rest, take plenty of fluids and use paracetomol or ibuoprofen to treat fever and pain symptoms. Both general practitioners and patients need to be constantly aware that antibiotics are a valuable resource and should only be used appropriately.”

“However it is still important to get checked by your GP if you are worried  especially for very young children, elderly patients, those with chronic medical conditions or whose immune system is suppressed to decide it they have a viral or bacterial infection. But remember being advised you do not need an antibiotic on this occasion is a positive outcome of a visit to the doctor.”

The HSE runs an informative  website with advice given by GP’s on how you can treat symptoms of infection, what you can do the help yourself or a loved one to feel better and when you should seek help from your GP. 

EAAD focuses on raising awareness of antibiotic prescribing. Doctors play a key role in fighting anti-microbial resistance through prudent use of antibiotics by using national prescribing guidelines to choose the best and safest antibiotics for patients when they have a bacterial infection. ENDS