Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Dr Scott's Surgery

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Dr Scott's Surgery

Article excerpt

I HAD a telephone request today. "I need my usual antibiotic, I have the flu." The patient was new to our list and seemed to be under the impression that we were a mail order company supplying antibiotics on demand. He did not agree with my assessment that he was unlikely to need them.

He gave me the rather dubious story that his previous doctor always supplied him with penicillin to "prevent complications". Perhaps his doctor didn't want to spend his time seeing people with colds and gave him the drug simply to avoid having to see him. If this was true, his doctor was extremely negligent. In case there are any Chronicle readers out there who still believe that antibiotics are any use at all for flu, colds or other viral illnesses, this column is for you.

The facts are plain and simple. Antibiotics are precious. Worldwide they have saved millions and millions of lives and prevented a great deal of pain and suffering BUT they will stop working if we overuse them. …

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