Don’t leave it halfway is a video series of five announcements, each lasting one minute, where the general public, patients, health professionals, veterinarians and politicians are called to action to work on addressing the problem of resistance to antibiotics from all sectors of society.
Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats facing us today. It affects to global health, food security, and development, and can touch anyone, of any age, in any country.
Antibiotic resistance occurs naturally, but misuse of antibiotics in humans and animals is accelerating the process that can lead us to a post-antibiotic era. If we do not react on time minor surgeries or little infections could become critical for human and animal health.
Don’t leave it halfway is an action included in the communication work package of the European Joint Action on Antimicrobial Resistance and Healthcare-Associated Infections (EU-JAMRAI).
Why we should not leave the antibiotic treatment halfway
There has been a lot of research into how long antibiotic courses should be, to determine the shortest possible length of course needed to completely kill all bacteria.
If you or your pets are being treated for an infection, the kind of antibiotics your doctor or veterinary prescribe and the length of the course should be based on the best evidence.
Feeling better, or an improvement in symptoms, does not always mean that the infection has completely gone. Your doctor or veterinary has had years of training and has access to the latest evidence – so always follow their advice.
Evidence is emerging that shorter courses of antibiotics may be just as effective as longer courses for some infections. Shorter treatments make more sense – they are more likely to be completed properly, have fewer side effects and also likely to be cheaper. They also reduce the exposure of bacteria to antibiotics, thereby reducing the speed by which the pathogen develops resistance.
ECDC has available on its website a directory of online resources for the prevention and control of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and healthcare-associated infections (HAI). The directory lists strategies, action plans, guidance documents, training courses and research projects on the prevention and control of antimicrobial resistance and healthcare-associated infections available online. These documents were published by ECDC, EU/EEA and other countries, international and national agencies, professional societies to support healthcare professionals, hospital administrators and public health professionals.
WHO publishes guidelines about treatments for different infections and recommends treatment durations and doses of antibiotics based on the best clinical evidence for each case. They continuously review the latest research so that they can provide updated recommendations to health professionals.