Did you know that up to 8 out of 10 sore throats in adults are because of a virus that can’t be treated with antibiotics?
Antibiotics are important medicines that are used to treat serious bacterial infections and when used correctly, they save lives. Unfortunately, they are often taken when they aren’t needed and are frequently being overused to treat simple illnesses including sore throats. In fact, over the last 10 years, antibiotic use in New Zealand has dramatically increased. Overuse of antibiotics is contributing to a rapid rise in antibiotic resistance. This basically means, the more we use antibiotics, the more opportunities we give the bacteria to adapt and fight back against them. If overuse of antibiotics continues, they’ll be less effective in treating diseases in the future when we really need them.
To help this problem, Unichem and Life Pharmacy are partnering with RB, the makers of Strepfen to provide a quick, free consultation service for people with sore throats.
This is great news if you aren’t sure if your sore throat is bacterial or viral and whether you need to visit the Doctor for antibiotics.
The free, 10-minute sore throat consultation will involve the following:
• An initial assessment from the pharmacist to see if you have signs of a viral infection. This will include
a thorough look at the back of your throat for any signs of inflammation or obvious white marks.
• A questionnaire relating to your symptoms.
• A simple and pain-free swab test on the back of the throat if they suspect you may have a bacterial
infection and require antibiotics. After 5 minutes, the swab test will reveal whether you are suffering
with a viral or bacterial infection. Please note: not all bacterial strains can be identified.
• Your pharmacist will then refer you on to your GP for further treatment if the swab test results indicate
a bacterial infection.
• If the swab test result is negative and you don’t require antibiotics, your Pharmacist will recommend some alternative treatment options.
Note: If your sore throat gets worse or symptoms don’t alleviate after 3 days, then you should see your GP.