Italian Medicines Agency Agenzia Italiana del Farmaco

Antibiotics? Defend your defense. Use them with caution (2010-2011)

'Antibiotics. Defend your defense. Use them with caution'

The inappropriate and excessive consumption of antibiotics and the consequent development of antibiotic resistance in Italy and in all European countries is an important problem for the protection of citizens' health since it exposes to the risk of no longer having any cure for infections in the near future. This means that even pathologies now considered minor, such as the whitlow, could become frightening. For this reason, in line with what has been implemented by other international institutions such as the WHO and ECDC, the Italian Medicines Agency, with the collaboration of the National Institute of Health (Istituto Superiore di Sanità) and the patronage of the Ministry of Health, has launched the third edition of an ad hoc communication campaign, this year called “Antibiotics, defend your defense. Use them with caution”, with an aim to inform citizens of the importance of resorting to antibiotics only when necessary and upon a doctor’s prescription, who ascertains their effective usefulness, of never interrupting therapy before the time indicated by the doctor or, however, only upon his/her advice and of not taking antibiotics to treat viral infections. These messages will also be conveyed in medical practices through posters circulated with the information organs of general medicine.

The Campaign involves the use of various communication tools including spaces in the national and local daily press, magazines, women's and web newspapers, advertisements on national and local television, radio and cinemas.

Moreover, in order to reach students and the working-age population, the messages will also be disseminated through billboards in railway stations, in public spaces, on street furniture, with dynamic urban advertising on buses and through the dedicated website.

Finally, citizens are given the opportunity to receive answers to questions on the correct use of antibiotics by calling the AIFA toll-free number 800-571661.

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