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Fewer Patients Seek Antibiotics

Fewer Patients Seek Antibiotics

Friday, March 24th 2006

Prescriptions for antibiotics have fallen by 16 per cent in the past five years, as people realise they will not cure common colds and flu, says Pharmac.

The figures were pleasing, as antibiotic resistance was an international concern, said the Government drug buying agency's medical director, Peter Moodie.

Antibiotics were effective against bacterial infections, but were not a cure-all and would not work to treat viral infections such as colds and flu, he said.

People seemed to be getting the message, but some suffering from winter ills were often keen to get antibiotics from their doctor.

This, he said, would do more harm than good because it would make antibiotics less effective when they were needed, and antibiotics could cause unpleasant side effects,
"The reality is if they are overused, the risk of resistance increases.

It is vital antibiotics retain their effectiveness for when they are needed for generations to come."

He said the figures were complex, but an example of the drop in prescriptions was in the under-6-year-old group.

In the year to March 1998, 985,000 antibiotics prescriptions were processed for that age group.

The number had fallen to 825,000 in the year to March 2003.

Doctors were trained to tell the difference between bacteria and viruses.

Dr Moodie said the best way to remedy colds and the flu was with plenty of fluids and rest.

Source; New Zealand Herald, 13 June 2003

Footnote from Ideal Health:

The following products are all useful for cold & flu symptoms:

Children's Echinacea
Elder Lemon Syrup
Immune Defence Cough Cold Relief
Inner Health Plus
Immune Booster for Kids
Ester C 1000mg + Bioflavonoids
Oregano Oil
Olive Leaf Liquid
Superior Olive Leaf
Sambucus Original

Related health information can be found here:

Antibiotic Use
Astra Forte
Colostrum, a universal healer with immune boosting properties
Common Cold
FOS to assist with candida, diarrhoea, constipation or other bowel problems
Tea tree oil - antiseptic healer
Vitamin C is essential for fighting infections, wound healing and coping with stress
Water, the elixir of life

Related articles can be found here:

Advisers Reiterate Need to Wait Before Giving Smallpox Vaccine to First Responders
Bird Flu - A Virus That Has the Potential to Kill Millions of People
Kiwis Stockpile Bird Flu Drugs
Infants Treated With Antibiotics at Increased Risk for Atopy and Asthma
Probiotics Well Tolerated, Safe in Infant Formula
Superbug Antibiotics Under Threat From Factory Farmers
Use of Probiotics in Atopic Diseases

If you need help or advice, you are welcome to email our naturopathic team with your health question.

Disclaimer: The health information presented here has been written for the New Zealand health consumer. It is of a general nature and is only intended to provide a summary of the subjects covered. The information is not intended to be comprehensive or to provide medical advice to you. While all care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, no responsibility or liability is accepted, and no person should act in reliance on any statement contained in the information provided. All health ailments should be treated by a qualified health professional.


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