Find about more about antibiotics

What are antibiotics?

Antibiotics are used to treat or prevent some types of bacterial infection. They work by killing bacteria or preventing them from reproducing and spreading. Antibiotics aren't effective against viral infections, such as the common cold, flu, most coughs and sore throats.

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Antibiotic Guardians

Why it is relevant to you: without effective antibiotics many routine treatments will become increasingly dangerous. Setting broken bones, basic operations, even chemotherapy and animal health all rely on access to antibiotics that work. What we want you to do: To slow resistance we need to cut the unnecessary use of antibiotics. We invite the public, students and educators, farmers, the veterinary and medical communities and professional organisations, to become Antibiotic Guardians. Call to action: Choose one simple pledge about how you'll make better use of antibiotics and help save these vital medicines from becoming obsolete.

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Antibiotic guardian and antibiotic awareness key messages

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Superbugs will 'kill every three seconds'

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Alcohol and antibiotics

It's sensible to avoid drinking alcohol when taking medication or feeling unwell. However, it is unlikely that drinking alcohol in moderation will cause problems if you are taking most common antibiotics.

For further information on alcohol and antibiotics visit here

No Garys in Britain by 2050

Garys could be wiped out within a generation after it emerged that there have been no children named Gary since 1992.

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We may not have apples or pears in 2050

Antibiotics are sprayed on pear and apple trees to prevent the spread of a bacterial infection called fire blight, which can destroy entire orchards. But resistance to the primary antibiotic used, called streptomycin, is growing, particularly in the Pacific Northwest.

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By 2050 we could be eating food grown in a lab, and mushrooms could be used to treat smallpox

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We'll have colonised Mars by 2050

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Videos

What is antibiotic resistance, and why should we care?
1/6 of Europeans are not aware that the misuse of antibiotics makes them less effective
Treating your infection without antibiotics