Medicines Optimisation

Take your doctor or nurses advice on antibiotics

Antibiotics don't work for viral infections such as colds and flu, and most coughs and sore throats.

Many mild bacterial infections also get better on their own without using antibiotics.

Taking antibiotics when you don't need them encourages dangerous bacteria that live inside you to become resistant. That means that antibiotics may not work when you next need them most. This puts you and your family at serious risk.

When antibiotics are used

Antibiotics may be used to treat bacterial infections that:

  • are unlikely to clear up without antibiotics
  • could infect others unless treated
  • could take too long to clear without treatment
  • carry a risk of more serious complications

People at a high risk of infection may also be given antibiotics as a precaution, known as antibiotic prophylaxis.

For more information, visit the NHS Choices website

NHS Choices

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Medicines Management

Open Up About Medicines and help your local NHS reduce medicines waste and save money.

The CCG in conjunction with Oxford Academic Health Science Network is supporting the Open Up About Medicines campaign.

The 'Open Up' About Medicines campaign is a medicines waste campaign with a difference! It encourages people to take responsibility for their medicines and talk to their GP, pharmacist, and when in a hospital a healthcare professional about their medicines. Medicines prescribed by GPs are paid for from our local NHS budget, this money can also be used for other types of NHS care.

We are aware that some patients do not want to take all the medicines that their doctors prescribe for them. Sometimes people continue ordering and collecting them because they worry about how they look not taking them and about telling a health care professional how they feel. Also, some people become confused by the number of medicines that are prescribed for them. This can lead to some medicines never being used and later wasted.

Unused medicines cost the NHS millions of pounds (the annual cost was estimated at £300 million in 2010, of which £150 million was estimated as avoidable). In East Berkshire this equates to approximately £2 million.

Money not spent on medicines can be spent on other types of care, and most importantly this money is kept within our local NHS.

The CCG is committed to making sure that our patients get the best possible treatment. Preventing medicines waste is critical to this commitment.

This campaign was originally created by Southampton CCG and Wessex Academic Health Science Network and adopted for use locally.