A SENIOR pharmacist from NHS Derbyshire County has spoken out about the dangers of over relying on antibiotics to treat common illnesses.
The warning comes amid concerns that overusing them is causing them to lose their effectiveness, promoting the spread of highly dangerous superbugs and drug resistance.
Diane Harris, a specialist antimicrobial pharmacist at NHS Derbyshire County, says it is a myth antibiotics work against viruses that cause colds, most coughs and sore throats.
She says most patients would be far better resting, drinking enough fluids and taking simple medicines.
The call for greater awareness is being made during European Antibiotics Awareness Day, which runs on Sunday.
Said Ms Harris: “Antibiotics are not a ‘miracle cure’ for common illnesses such as colds, most coughs and sore throats.
“And the more the drugs are used inappropriately, the more likely it is that bacteria become drug resistant.
“This threatens the effectiveness of antibiotics, now and in the future, and, promotes the spread of life-threatening superbug infections.
“So it’s absolutely imperative that antibiotics are used in the right way as directed by your GP or health professional.”