For a number of years, Guernsey’s Health and Social Care (HSC) has been encouraging the community to only take antibiotics when necessary and not to try to pressurise doctors to prescribe them unnecessarily.
Antibiotics aren’t effective for common viral infections. They cannot help you recover from a cold or a ‘flu faster or prevent the spread to other people. For adults who are otherwise healthy, common viral infections and many milder bacterial infections will resolve in a few days without active treatment. Antibiotic drugs can cause unpleasant side effects and increase resistance to the drugs in individuals and in the community.
Reducing use is the most effective way of reducing resistance.
Data regarding the first 10 months of 2020 is now available which shows a significant decrease for 2020.
Time Period Items
First 10 months of 2018 44,396
First 10 months of 2019 42,030
First 10 months of 2020 36,857
Geraldine O’Riordan, Prescribing Adviser said: “It is pleasing to see a year on year reduction in the prescribing of antibiotics. The data for the first 10 months of this year has seen a significant reduction in prescribing numbers. This is a result of increased awareness on the wise use of antibiotics, improved hand hygiene measures as a result of COVId-19 and an increase in the update of the flu vaccine”.
Lockdown in March this year has had an impact on the prescribing numbers, as many islanders had reduced access to their GP practices as some were isolating and not, therefore, spreading infections. It was also very warm. As can be seen from the results below, the fall in prescribing numbers was maintained until the end of October, with no one coming to harm as a result of the reduced prescribing.
Quarter Items Quarter Items
Jan – Mar 19 14,704 Jan – Mar 20 14,700
Apr – Jun 19 11,487 Apr – Jun 20 8,983
Jul – Sep 19 11,499 Jul – Sep 20 9,671
Oct 19 4,304 Oct 20 3,503