Public Urged To Become Antibiotic Guardians

A senior pharmacist at Forth Valley Royal Hospital is urging people across Forth Valley to think twice about seeking antibiotics for cold and flu symptoms, and to sign up to be an Antibiotic Guardian. Clare Colligan, Antimicrobial Pharmacist for NHS Forth Valley, has issued the appeal to coincide with European Antibiotic Awareness Day on November 18 2015. She says resistance to this type of medicine is one of the biggest threats we are facing.

Clare explained: “The more we use these drugs, the more resistance to them increases meaning that there will come a time when simple infections could become life threatening if we don’t take action now. By signing up to be an Antibiotic Guardian you can make a pledge not to go to the doctor immediately if you are just suffering from a cold and can get better in a few days with over-the-counter medicines. You can also spread the word and tell your friends and family about antibiotic resistance.

“The pipeline for antibiotics is pretty dry now. Every part of bacteria has been targeted already by antibiotics so there is no new mechanism to kill bacteria. Bugs have also been extremely clever in adapting to survive, despite antibiotics being available.”

In Forth Valley, doctors prescribe antibiotics in the region of 1.7 prescriptions per 1,000 patients daily, which is equivalent to around a quarter of a million prescriptions per year. Last year 30% of the Scottish population had at least one antibiotic prescription. Across the EU as a whole, the cost of healthcare expenses and lost productivity due to antibiotic resistance bacteria stands at 1.5 billion euros.

To sign up to be an Antibiotic Guardian, visit

and choose a pledge that is right for you.