Resistance to antibiotics continues to pose a serious health risk.
The Irish Pharmaceutical Association is trying to spot the correct use of medicines before the European Antibiotic Awareness Day this Sunday.
IPU says patients should not take antibiotics for common complaints such as coughs, colds or sore throats because they are not working for viral diseases.
IPU President Daragh Connolly says health services face increased levels of resistance to antibiotics, which may affect daily processes.
"It is important for everyone to take responsibility for ensuring that antibiotics are used only when absolutely necessary," said Connolly,
"The key message is that antibiotics should always be taken when a patient actually requires them to cure a specific bacterial infection. For those suffering from cough, colds, sore throat, sinusitis, flu, vomiting and diarrhea, antibiotics will not work and not be received.
"In this respect, at a time when we should reduce the use of antibiotics, in the first half of this year the proportion of antibiotic consumption in Ireland has risen, while the Irish takes 7% more antibiotics than the previous 15 years.
"We are taking too many antibiotics and this is causing the alarming increase in antibiotic resistance. If this problem is not addressed, antibiotics used to treat infections today will become ineffective or will cease to work in the future. "
The IPU offered advice on when and when not to take antibiotics:[factbox] [item]Do not take antibiotics for colds and flu. sore throat, cough, vomiting and diarrhea.[/item] [item]If you need to take an antibiotic, take it exactly as prescribed and complete the course even if you feel better.[/item] [item]Do not store antibiotics for later use or do not share them with others.[/item] [item]Do not expect to prescribe antibiotics for viral conditions.[/item] [/factbox]
– Digital office