A recent poll undertaken by Galaxy Research found that 71 per cent of Gen-Y workers believe antibiotics will speed up their recovery from a cold or flu compared with the 60 per cent of baby boomers surveyed .
NPS MedicineWise clinical advisor Andrew Boyden said antibiotics only work for bacterial infections, not viral infection like colds and the flu.
‘To help prevent the growing problem of antibiotic resistance it’s important that all Australians recognise and address this misconception,’ he said.
‘Using antibiotics when they’re not needed, like for colds and flu, is contributing to antibiotic resistance. This is making bacterial infection, such as pneumonia and tuberculosis, harder to treat with potentially dire consequences.’
Graham Farquhar, a doctor at Leeming doctors and chairman of the Fremantle Medicare Local board, said the answer to fighting colds was panadol, keeping hydrated and rest.
‘There’s not much else you can do,’ he said.
‘The most important thing is to prevent it. That’s why we push for young people, people over 65 and people with chronic diseases to get their vaccinations.’