ADA supports Antibiotics Awareness Week

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Dr Peter Aldritt, chair of the ADA's oral health committee.
Dr Peter Aldritt, chair of the ADA’s oral health committee.

As part of the National Prescribing Service (NPS)’s Antibiotics Awareness Week (17–23 November), the Australian Dental Association (ADA) calls on health professionals and patients to take the pledge to exercise care in the prescription of antibiotics.

Dr Peter Alldritt, Chair of the ADA’s Oral Health Committee, said: “Australia has one of the highest rates of antibiotic use in the world. In fact a recent survey by NPS showed that nearly 60% of Medical GPs said they would prescribe antibiotics to meet patient demands or expectations, although it may not be strictly medically appropriate.

“When it comes to oral health, many patients present to GPs looking for antibiotics to address problems such as toothache. However the right advice would be to see a dentist.

“Health professionals have a responsibility to ensure that the correct referral pathways are followed to address oral health problems. Antibiotics should never be the default response.”

The overuse and misuse of antibiotics is making bacterial infections harder to treat. The World Health Organisation has called antibiotic resistance one of the biggest threats to human health today.

Dr Alldritt concluded, “Not only could inappropriate use of antibiotics delay treatment of oral health problems, it makes bacterial infections harder to beat in the future. It’s a double whammy that we all must take action to avoid.”

During Antibiotic Awareness Week #AbxAus, the NPS is asking all Australians to take the pledge to fight

#AntibioticResistance.

Patients can make the pledge here.

Patients can fight antibiotic resistance by committing to:

  •  Not expecting antibiotics for cold and flu as they have no effect on viruses
  • Take antibiotics as directed if they are prescribed
  • Practice good hygiene to help stop the spread of infection

Health professionals can pledge to be a champion for the appropriate use of antibiotics when prescribing, dispensing, offering advice or answering questions about antibiotics at http://www.nps.org.au/hp-pledge.

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