A CAMPAIGN has been launched to aid the fight to keep antibiotics working.

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) has launched a new campaign highlighting the fact that antibiotics don’t work for everything and urging people to think before they ask their GP for antibiotics.

Antibiotics don’t work on viruses such as colds, flu and sore throats. The health board say that taking antibiotics unnecessarily causes dangerous bacteria to become resistant, meaning they may not work when they are really needed.

Thousands of deaths are caused every year across North Wales because antibiotics don’t work for some infections.

Antibiotic resistance is set to cause 10 million deaths per year by 2050 and cost £66 trillion. Without effective antibiotics, routine treatments will become increasingly dangerous such setting broken bones, basic operations, even chemotherapy. Modern medicines will also not be able to function as antibiotics are used to support all surgery and cancer treatments.

Susan Murphy, assistant director of pharmacy at BCUHB, said: "Our campaign aims to encourage people to reduce the number of antibiotics they take.

"Antibiotics are an important tool for doctors and healthcare professionals to help treat serious bacterial infections, such as pneumonia, meningococcal meningitis and sepsis and to help ward off infections during chemotherapy, caesarean sections and other surgery."

Dr Dyfrig Ap Dafydd, general practitioner, said: "Incorrectly taking a course of antibiotics or taking them when you don’t need them will not only diminish the chance of you beating your infection but will actually work against you as the antibiotics will be less effective in fighting the next bacterial infection you get.

"Overuse of antibiotics can also damage our normal/useful bacteria, therefore people are at risk of infections such as Clostridium difficile – a nasty infection with symptoms including watery diarrhoea, fever, nausea and abdominal pain.

"To keep antibiotics working for you and your family, always take your healthcare professionals advice; this can be your nurse, pharmacist or GP."