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[PIO] Cyprus among the countries with the highest rates of antibiotic consumption and consequent antimicrobial resistance


In the context of raising awareness and understanding about the responsible use of antibiotics, the Health Insurance Organisation (HIO) is collaborating with the National Committee "Unified Health", established by the Ministry of Health, to tackle antimicrobial resistance. The aim is to provide proper information on the need for rational use of antibiotics and to raise awareness of the problem of antimicrobial resistance, i.e. the resistance of bacteria to antibiotics. The aim of the National Strategy for addressing and reducing antibiotic resistance is to promote best practices.

Why are antibiotic-resistant bacteria dangerous?

Incorrect antibiotic use contributes to the increase in antibiotic-resistant bacteria. This can result in a decrease in the effectiveness of antibiotics in the future. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are dangerous for everyone as they cause infections that are difficult to treat.

What is "self-medication" and why should it be avoided?

It involves the patient taking antibiotics without medical advice, through the use of leftover antibiotics from previous treatments or buying antibiotics from a pharmacy without a prescription.

The above practice should be avoided, as many illnesses that occur, particularly during the winter season, although they may cause similar symptoms, may not require the same treatment. Even if identical symptoms are present, the same antibiotic used in a previous illness cannot be used. Only the treating physician is in a position to judge whether a disease requires antibiotic treatment.

Antibiotics are not painkillers

Antibiotics do not have painkiller properties, therefore they do not relieve headaches, aches or fever. They are only effective against bacterial infections and cannot help treat infections caused by viruses, such as the common cold or flu. Since up to 80% of winter and spring illnesses affecting the nose, ears, throat and lungs are of viral origin, antibiotics do not make us feel better and are likely to cause side effects.

Consult our pharmacist

Our pharmacist can recommend over-the-counter medicines to treat the symptoms. We do not fail to seek his advice and guidance, especially if we are taking medication for other conditions at the same time.

What should we avoid?

Regarding the rational use of antibiotics and the prevention of antimicrobial resistance, it is recommended to avoid the following. [*]Store antibiotics for later use. [*]Use antibiotics left over from previous treatments. [*]Give others leftover antibiotics. [*]Discontinue antibiotic treatment before the specified duration, as directed and prescribed by our doctor. [/LIST]

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