AMA encourages responsible prescribing of antibiotics
Antibiotics Awareness Week 18-24 November 2013
AMA President, Dr Steve Hambleton, said today that the AMA is pleased to join with the NPS MedicineWise and other organisations to spread the message that over-prescribing of antibiotics is a threat to the wellbeing of Australians.
NPS MedicineWise is conducting Antibiotic Awareness Week this week, 18-24 November.
Dr Hambleton said that, when antibiotics are taken unnecessarily or incorrectly, it encourages the development of dangerous antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
The AMA encourages medical practitioners to be informed about when antibiotics are clinically appropriate. They should only be prescribed:
- when the benefit to the patient is likely to be substantial;
- as recommended by clinical guidelines and pathology providers; and
- at the appropriate dose and duration.
It is also important that patients understand that:
- antibiotics are only effective against bacteria and not viruses. That means they are not effective against colds and the flu; and
- if antibiotics are prescribed for an infection, the whole course should be taken as directed.
The AMA commends the extensive educational material developed by the NPS for medical practitioners and patients.
The AMA has also been in consultation with the Australian Veterinary Association over community concerns about the use of antibiotics in animals, particularly food animals.
More information is available on the NPS MedicineWise website atwww.nps.org.au/antibiotics and the AMA website https://ama.com.au/gpnn/join-the-fight-against-antibiotic-resistance
18 November 2013
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Published: 18 Nov 2013