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Antibiotics are creating superbugs

That’s the opposite of what they’re going for.

Image: Sheep purple via Flickr/CC

IRISH PEOPLE ARE being warned not to overuse antibiotics, because it is leading to rise in so-called superbugs.

A lecture in the Royal College of Surgeons tonight will warn people about the misuse of the drugs.

Dr Fidelma Fitzpatrick says that while antibiotics have revolutionised healthcare, their overuse in recent years has had knock-on effects.

“It is sobering to remember how much antibiotics have revolutionised medical practice in the last 75 years and saved millions of lives since their discovery.

Then antibiotic resistance was little understood and the pipeline of new antibiotics seemed endless. There was no attempt to use these agents wisely.

“Antibiotic resistance remains one of the greatest potential threats to human health.”

O’Connor says that people make common mistakes when using antibiotics.

“You seldom need an antibiotic from your GP; if it is a viral illness, rest and time may be the best solution but if you are prescribed antibiotics, use them correctly. Take the medication exactly as prescribed and finish the course. Don’t save antibiotics for later and don’t share them with others.”

The lecture will be given by Dr Fitzgerald, a Senior Lecturer in Clinical Microbiology at RCSI and Consultant Microbiologist in Beaumont Hospital and Dr Nuala O’Connor, a General Practitioner in Cork, who is the Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP) Lead Advisor on Antibiotic Resistance.

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