Antibiotics are essential medicines that have played a leading role in saving human and animal lives.  However, unnecessary prescribed antibiotics and the misuse of it in human and animal health have lead to the rise of antibiotic resistance. Millions of antibiotic prescriptions are prescribed unnecessary each year

What is antibiotics?

Antibiotics are medicines used to treat infections caused by bacteria.

What is antibiotic resistance?

Antibiotic resistance is when bacteria are no longer killed by antibiotics. Bacteria can develop the ability to change which reduces or eliminates the effectiveness of drugs designed to kill them.  Common infections will eventually start to become untreatable.

Some Facts:

  • Antibiotics DO NOT cure COLDS and FLU or any other infections caused by viruses.
  • The rise of antibiotic resistance poses a GLOBAL threat to anyone of any age which can lead to untreatable infections
  • Drug-resistance can happen among humans, animals and the environment
  • Vaccinations prevents infections and help limit the spread of antibiotic resistance
  • Effective waste treatment protects the environment and can reduce antibiotic resistance
  • Wash your hands regularly. This can prevent infections and avoid the need for antibiotics.
  • Infections caused by resistant bacteria can be very difficult to treat
  • There are very few new antibiotics being developed. It is important that we use our existing antibiotics wisely and that it stay effective for us.
  • Bacteria, including those carrying antibiotic resistance, can be transferred between animals and humans and vice versa, therefore it is important to practice good hygiene.
  • Infections such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, and gonorrhoea are becoming harder to treat as the antibiotics used to treat them become less effective.


  • Always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare professional before taking antibiotics
  • Never share or take antibiotics from anyone. Not even from family.
  • Only take antibiotics that a healthcare professional has prescribed to you. Always follow the directions for use carefully and remember to complete the course
  • Never use antibiotics that have expired.
  • Do not save antibiotics. Discard any leftover medication
  • Antibiotics may cause side-effects and allergic reactions

Article written by Sloan-Reese Nickols






Public Health England

Australian Government