A NEW campaign has been launched to combat the over-use of anti-biotics.
Huddersfield people are among those being urged to limit the amount of infection-tackling drugs they take to stop levels of resistance rising.
The Government move comes after warnings that resistance to antibiotics was still on the increase across the country – despite a decade of public education campaigns.
Dr Sue Proctor, director of patient care and partnerships for NHS Yorkshire and the Humber, backed the new drive.
She said: “This campaign should help doctors, nurses and members of the public to better understand when antibiotics will help and when they will not.
“Antibiotic resistance is becoming more common and means that existing antibiotics become less effective at fighting infections.
“It’s important that we only prescribe antibiotics when they are required and when they can make a difference to the patient.
“Antibiotics treat bacterial infections, but many colds and most coughs and sore throats are caused by viruses so cannot be cured with antibiotics.
“Asking for antibiotics often isn’t the answer, with many conditions patients can get well soon – without the antibiotics.”
The NHS says patients sometime request antibiotics from doctors “just in case”, but it says bacteria adapts and finds ways to survive the effects of an antibiotic, becoming resistant to the drugs.
The NHS also warns the more an anti-biotic is used, the more likely it is that bacteria will become resistant to it.
Chief Medical Officer, Liam Donaldson said: “We must all play a part in conserving antibiotics as a valuable clinical resource.
“Patients can take other remedies to help relieve the symptoms of a cough or cold.
“Their pharmacist is well-placed to give them advice.”
Ads will appear in national newspapers and magazines as part of the new Government campaign and posters and leaflets will also be placed in GPs surgeries and pharmacies.
If a patient is prescribed antibiotics they should not stop taking them as soon as the symptoms fade.
Antibiotics should be taken as prescribed and the course should be finished, unless a doctor or pharmacist advises otherwise.