Why we are limiting the amount of private prescriptions for antibiotics

Blue pills on a pink background
The discovery of antibiotics was a medical breakthrough in the 20th century, and life-threatening infections like tuberculosis were no longer a death sentence. 
Antibiotics are still widely used today to treat things like chest and ear infections, however, bacteria is clever. It’s learning to fight back against antibiotics and it’s becoming harder to kill.
This is known as antibiotic resistance, and it can lead to these same dangerous conditions becoming incurable once again. We know, that’s a scary thought! That’s why, for your safety, we are limiting the amount of private prescriptions for antibiotics to our patients.

What are antibiotics?

Antibiotics are used to clear up infections caused by bacteria. They work by killing off bacteria or preventing the bacteria from spreading, but they aren’t a miracle medicine and they won’t work for everything.
If you have a mild bacterial infection, it will likely get better on its own without the use of antibiotics. Antibiotics are useless against viral infections, too, like the common cold or flu, and many coughs and sore throats.
Antibiotics may be prescribed from your GP if you have an infection that:

  • Is unlikely to resolve on its own
  • Could infect others
  • Could take too long to clear without treatment
  • Poses a risk of more serious complications

Woman holding a glass of water and pills

What is antibiotic resistance?

Overusing antibiotics has led to the development of antibiotic resistance, meaning antibiotics are less effective at treating infections. This has resulted in the emergence of ‘superbugs’, like MRSA, that are resistant against many different types of antibiotics.
These types of infections are very challenging to treat and are increasingly causing disability and death across the world. It’s concerning that a new strain of bacteria could eventually emerge that’s untreatable by any existing antibiotics.

Why we are limiting the amount of private prescriptions for antibiotics

To stop this from happening, the NHS and many other healthcare organisations across the world are attempting to reduce the use of antibiotics, especially for unserious health conditions like chest infections, sore throats and ear infections in children. 
Chemist4U is following this initiative, too, by limiting the amount of private prescriptions for antibiotics. We have arrived at this decision to not only protect our current patients against antibiotic resistance, but to protect the future generation of our patients, too.
If you believe antibiotics are necessary for your treatment, we would encourage you to visit your GP.
Blue pills on a pink background
Antibiotics aren’t the enemy; in fact, they have and will continue to help us tackle infections for years to come. We simply need to avoid relying on them for minor illnesses that can be treated by other means.
If we want to stop antibiotic resistance from taking over, it’s time to act now and only take antibiotics when we really need them. If you need any more information about antibiotic resistance, visit the NHS website.

Alexandra Moses - Medical Content Writer
James O'Loan - CEO & Superintendent Pharmacist
James O'Loan , CEO & Superintendent Pharmacist on 15 March 2023
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