Medicine: The dangerous side of antibiotics

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The Independent Online
Over-use of antibiotics is putting patients' lives at risk, health chiefs warned today. The British Medical Association claims "unnecessary and inappropriate" use of antibiotics - which account for 70 per cent of all treatment courses - has increased people's resistance to the drugs and this is causing serious problems in controlling public health worldwide.

Infectious diseases such as meningitis, pneumonia and tuberculosis, which are treated with mainly antibiotics, are becoming more difficult to control as they become resistant to the drugs and hospital acquired infections are spreading more rapidly, it says. To encourage patients not to ask their doctor for antibiotics for every cough, sneeze of splutter, the BMA today launched a campaign called: Antibiotics: not a miracle cure!