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Taking antibiotics responsibly
Spain is one of the developed countries with the highest consumption of antibiotics, and 30 per cent of those who take these medicines obtain them without a doctor’s prescription, or use leftovers which they’ve kept after previous illnesses.

Consume antibiotics responsibly, their efficiency depends on you
Consume antibiotics responsibly, their efficiency depends on you

02.03.2015 - The above fact makes the level of self-medication in Spain one of the highest in the world and thus one of the areas with the greatest potential for antibiotic abuse.

Antibiotics are a type of medication used to combat infections caused by bacteria, preventing them from growing and, ultimately, destroying them.  Their high consumption rate is partly due to people also using them to treat infections caused by viruses – which do not respond to antibiotics - such as catarrh, respiratory infections, and sometimes ear and sore throats.

This type of irresponsible behaviour is dangerous for everyone’s health, especially your own, mainly because when the time comes that you really need an antibiotic, it can be less effective, making curing the problem more difficult.  Taking too many unnecessary antibiotics can also lead to allergic reactions and unfavourable changes in intestinal flora. Even when prescribed properly, people often don’t finish the whole course of antibiotics – allowing bacteria that are left alive to mutate and possibly become resistant to current antibiotics.

For responsible usage, remember:

Never self-medicate yourself with antibiotics.

Don’t ask your chemist to sell you antibiotics unless they’ve been recommended and prescribed by your doctor, and don’t pressurise your chemist to sell them to you without a prescription.

If your child shows signs of an infection, take him or her to your pediatrician as soon as possible.

If you catch a cold or the flu, and your doctor says you don’t need antibiotics, just do as you’re told.  Rest and patience are often the best remedies.

If you are prescribed antibiotics, follow your doctor’s instructions regarding dosage, when to take them, and for how long.

Keep to a regular routine and take your medicines at the same time each day to prevent the bacteria developing resistance.

Complete the treatment, without interruptions.  The symptoms will disappear quickly, but that’s not to say that the infection has been cured.  If you fail to complete the treatment, the infection could reappear, and the antibiotic may no longer be effective.

Don’t keep leftover antibiotics.  There are proper containers at your pharmacy where you can dispose of them.

Make sure you and your children are vaccinated where applicable.

Consume your antibiotics responsibly; their efficiency depends on you.

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