Correct use of Antibiotics

How do Antibiotics Work?

Antibiotics work by blocking vital processes in bacteria, killing the bacteria. Different antibiotics – broad spectrum and narrow spectrum – work against different bacteria in different ways. Antibiotics only work against bacteria. They do not work for colds, influenza (flu) or COVID-19, which are caused by viruses.

Taking Antibiotics

Follow your health professional’s instructions when you are prescribed antibiotics. Only take antibiotics that are prescribed for you and don’t use or share leftover antibiotics.

Antibiotic Resistance

Bacteria can change and adapt to protect themselves from an antibiotic. The more we use antibiotics, the more chances bacteria have of developing a resistance to them. This is known as Antibiotic Resistance. Additionally, ‘superbugs’ are bacteria that are resistant to several different antibiotics. Antimicrobial Resistance is the umbrella term for resistance to antibiotics, antiviral medicines, and antifungal medicines.

What Should I Do When I Feel Unwell?

  1. See your GP and ask what treatment options are available
  2. Do not pressure your health professional for antibiotics if they say you don’t need them – ask them about other ways to relieve your symptoms
  3. Make sure your vaccinations are up to date by checking your immunisation history statement through Medicare or My Health Record.