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Italian Medicines Agency Agenzia Italiana del Farmaco

Conscious use of antibiotics. The World Awareness Week, promoted by the WHO, once again celebrated this year - Conscious use of antibiotics. The World Awareness Week, promoted by the WHO, once again celebrated this year

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Conscious use of antibiotics. The World Awareness Week, promoted by the WHO, once again celebrated this year

As part of the European Antibiotic Awareness Day (ECDC) promoted by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the World Health Organisation annually celebrates a world awareness week (“World Antimicrobial Awareness Week 2020”) aimed at promoting correct and responsible use of antimicrobials and at increasing awareness of antimicrobial resistance. Misuse of these medicines during the COVID-19 emergency could contribute to accelerated emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance, which already represents a worrisome phenomenon. AIFA adheres to social campaigns promoted by major international institutions (WHO, ECDC, ICMRA) drawing attention to some key messages:

  • Antibiotics only treat infections caused by bacteria
  • Antibiotics do not treat or prevent viral infections such as COVID 19
  • If you are at home with COVID-19, do not take antibiotics unless prescribed by your doctor
  • Some patients with COVID-19 may develop a co-bacterial infection. In this case, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics to treat the bacterial infection
  • Unnecessary or inappropriate use of antibiotics makes them less effective
  • If antibiotics lose their effectiveness, even less serious bacterial infections can put your health at risk
  • Antibiotic resistance drastically reduces the number of antibiotics available for the treatment of many diseases
  • 70 years after the introduction of antibiotics, we must avoid the possibility of not having medicines effective against bacteria in the future.
  • We can all strive to ensure that antibiotics continue to be effective
  • Correct diagnosis is the key! Trust your doctor and do not use antibiotics or other medicines without prescription
  • Good hygiene can reduce the spread of infections, including those caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria
  • Hygiene practices adopted for COVID-19 can also protect you from bacterial infections


Published on: 18 November 2020

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