NHS Tayside is supporting World Antibiotic Awareness Week (18 -24 November) to raise awareness of the appropriate use of antibiotics.

Overuse of antibiotics causes bacteria to change and develop resistance, making infections more difficult to treat. Antibiotics are very valuable for serious bacterial infections and we must use them carefully to make sure we do not lose them.

To support World Antibiotic Awareness Week, which includes European Antibiotic Awareness Day on Friday, 18 November, members of the NHS Tayside Antimicrobial team are adopting the World Health Organisation’s Preventing Antimicrobial Resistance Together campaign to raise awareness of antimicrobial resistance.

NHS Tayside Advanced Nurse Practitioner for Antimicrobial Stewardship, Jo McEwen said, “Our bodies are very good at fighting off simple infections on their own without the need for antibiotics, and in most cases antibiotics do not significantly reduce the duration of your illness.

“As winter approaches, we will see an increase in upper respiratory tract infections, most of which will be viral in nature and do not respond to antibiotics. Antibiotics do not work against viral infections which often cause coughs, colds and sore throats and people can seek advice from their community pharmacist about how best to manage their symptoms.

“In the majority of cases when you are not well with these infections, you will get better just as quickly without antibiotics.”

The team is also supporting the Antibiotic Guardian campaign, which asks healthcare professionals and members of the public to make a simple pledge about how they’ll make better use of antibiotics and help save these vital medicines from becoming obsolete.

For further information about the Antibiotic Guardian campaign, visit