This site is intended for Healthcare Professionals only

Public education needed on respiratory antibiotics


Public education needed on respiratory antibiotics

A new study, commissioned by the Global Respiratory Infection Partnership (GRIP) and Reckitt, highlights the continuing overuse of antibiotics for sore throats and other respiratory conditions.

The global study, which included the UK, surveyed 12,000 people aged 18-64 years who had treated respiratory symptoms in the preceding six months. Fifty-three per cent had taken antibiotics. 

The study highlighted the need for public education. Among participants younger than 35 years, for instance, 61 per cent believe that antibiotics are effective for sore throats, while 45 per cent do not know how to treat respiratory conditions without antibiotics.

Indeed, 38 per cent of people younger than 35 years of age feel anxious about being treated for respiratory conditions without antibiotics.

GRIP suggests pharmacists follow three steps for sore throat:

  • Assess patients’ symptoms and address concerns
  • Assess severity and check for red flags and risk factors
  • Offer advice about self-management and symptomatic treatments.  

“The results of this study are of concern as young people incorrectly believe that antibiotics work for all sore throats and colds, and may be unaware of the consequences of inappropriate antibiotic use on a personal and public health level,” says GRIP chair Sabiha Essack, professor in pharmaceutical sciences and consultant on antimicrobial resistance to WHO. 

“GRIP understands the vital role that pharmacists play in educating the public on appropriate antibiotic use and is working to support [this] with educational resources.”

Copy Link copy link button


Stay up to date with all the news, learning and insight in the world of pharmacy.