Ilustration som visar att man ska vända sin telefon/surfplatta.
Text: Do you get better faster if you take antibiotics?
Bild: Till svensk version

Welcome.

This website provides you with information on when it’s good to
use antibiotics and when it’s not.  Did you know that after a single
course of antibiotics you could develop resistant bacteria in your
intestines that remain in your system for up to two years?

The Public Health Institute of Sweden and Strama Stockholm are working
together with municipalities and county councils to reduce the spread of infections
and minimize the development of antibiotic resistance.

Start
What are viruses, bacteria and resistance?
Can unnecessary use of antibiotics be harmful?
Resistant bacteria, how do they affect me?
Modern healthcare without antibiotics?
OTITIS (ear inflammation) Do you get better more quickly if you take antibiotics?
CHRONIC COUGH Do you get better more quickly if you take antibiotics?
THROAT INFECTION Do you get better more quickly if you take antibiotics?
SINUSITIS Do you get better more quickly if you take antibiotics?
Bacteria and viruses can cause infections
with similar symptoms.

Bacteria can be treated with antibiotics, though
your body is able to clear many infections on its
own without antibiotics. In these cases using
antibiotics is unnecessary and can even lead to
undesirable consequences in your GI tract.

Antibiotics have no
effect on infections
caused by viruses.
Resistance occurs when bacteria
mutate and are no longer susceptible
to antibiotics. This results in antibiotic
treatment failure.

The key is to use antibiotics
only when necessary.
There is a significant correlation
between antibiotic consumption
and the development of
resistant bacteria.
Increased use of antibiotics results
in increased bacterial resistance.
In addition to developing resistance, bacteria can transfer genetic resistance to one another.
This process of contamination between bacteria occurs in the intestines. Resistant bacteria can then spread to other people, often transmitted via hands due to poor hand hygiene.
Antibiotics alter the normal and protective bacteria in your intestines. This can result in extended diarrhoea symptoms.
Antibiotics disturb a woman’s normal vaginal flora, leading to yeast infections.
Even the normal bacterial flora in your throat can be altered, resulting in a weak-
ened defence against
throat infections.
After a single course of antibiotics you can develop resistant bacteria in your intestine that can remain in your system for up toyears.
If these resistant bacteria cause an infection in your body such as a sepsis, which is a severe blood infection, they can be difficult to treat.
Sleep and rest is most important!
Do not use antipyretics unnecessarily just to lower your body temperature. Fever is a natural defence mechanism and taking antipyretics can prolong
the infection.
Be considerate. If possible, rest the first few days and minimize time in public places if you are coughing and sneezing. Sneeze into bend of the arm for example. This prevents you from infecting others.
Use saline drops and expectorants. Warm liquid with honey if you like. Alcohol does not help ypur body to get well.
Grandfather, father and the grandchild,
29 of Augusti
By avoiding the unnecessary use
of antibiotics, you can actually reduce
the risk for antibiotic treatment failure
in your family in future.
There are different kinds of antibiotics. Some help against many types of bacteria,also called broad spectrum and some are more specific,(such as penicillin).
In Sweden, the so called penicillin model is used. This means that physicians are supposed to prescribe specific antibiotics as first line treatment, such as phenoxymethylpenicillin. These specific antibiotics do not kill as many bacteria strains.
It is important to continue this
strategy and to reduce the overall
use of antibiotics.
No data
<1%
1-5%
5-10%
10-25%
25-50%
>50%
The map shows resistance in a
common intestinal bacteria that
causes urinary tract infection.
In other European regions, it’s possible to purchase antibiotics over the counter without a prescription. It is also possible to purchase antibiotics over the internet without first consulting a health professional and these sales have been increasing both in Sweden and in other regions. Because of widespread use of antibiotics many bacteria have become resistant.
People living in urban areas in Sweden consume the most antibiotics. Is this really necessary? Based on national recommendations a reasonable level is about 250 prescriptions / 1000 inhabitants per year.
Sweden already has problems with multi-resistant bacteria. In a worst-case scenario there will be few or no effective antibiotics.
We need to protect the antibiotics we have today! Present pharmaceutical developments indicate that no new antibiotics are anticipated to enter the market in the comingyears. .
Currently, when a specific antibiotic does not work it is possible to switch to another type which can be effective. However, as bacteria mutate and develop resistance to one type of antibiotic after another, there are fewer types to choose from. A plausible global threat is that eventually there could be no effective treatment for severe bacterial infections.
Intensive medical care
Premature births
Chemotherapy
Surgeries
By not taking antibiotics when we don’t need to, we give ourselves a chance to use effective antibiotics when we really need them.
Implications from antibiotic resistant bacteria are as serious to public health as the threats posed by climate changes.
When antibiotics save lives
(sepsis, meningitis).
When antibiotics reduce symptoms significantly
(urinary tract infections, severe tonsillitis).
When antibiotics reduce the risk of complications
(chlamydia, borrelia).
In cases of unilateral otitis media in children of 1 - 12 years.
In cases of throat infections without streptococci and in mild tonsillitis with streptococci.
If symptoms of sinusitis
have not lasted for longer
than ten days.
In cases of cough and sputum without fever, respiratory distress, or other lung disease.
Emma at the doctors, 3rd of July
My child has an earache.
Will she get better more quickly
if she takes antibiotics?
Yes
No
If she is over age 1 then the
answer is no.
A Swedish study shows
that children over age 1
do not get better more
quickly with antibiotics.
Children younger than year.
Children between ages with a ruptured eardrum
or children with inflammation in both ears, double-sided otitis.
Children older than years and adults.
Emma at the doctors, 3rd of July
A child between ages
with a one-sided otitis usually
requires no antibiotic treatment.
However, one should always consult a physician to get a correct diagnosis.
You are always welcome for a
follow-up visit if the condition
worsens.
Is it necessary for me or my child
to take antibiotics right now?
What are the proven benefits
of taking antibiotics?
Could this course of antibiotics do more harm than good?

Advice regarding Otitis media

Use painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen if your child is older than 6 months,
preferably in combination if the child has severe pain.

Use nose drops with decongestants or saline drops.

Rest, preferably with your head in a more elevated position than normal.

Children should be symptom free for at least 24 hours before returning to pre-school/school.

Perhaps the child would benefit from shorter days at pre-school for a time to gain strength.

Sugar-free gum three times a day can help prevent swelling of the eustachian tube
(blocked ear) often associated with colds.

Regular sleep, fresh air, regular meals with plenty of fruit and vegetables,
increase your body's ability to resist infections and hasten recovery.
Petter at home with a sore throat,
8th of Feb
I have a slight throat infection, with
sore throat and fever. Will I get better
more quickly if I take antibiotics?
Yes
No
No!
Many studies show that
recovery from a minor throat
infection takes the same time
with or without antibiotics.
This study shows that 85 %
recovered after a week, regardless
of whether they took antibiotics.
A quick test for streptococci should not be routinely taken for all people seeking care for a sore throat as many individuals can carry streptococci without becoming sick from them. In Sweden, strep tests should only be taken after a physician recommendation.
Nowadays, there is no risk of kidney
or cardiac valve complications after a
streptococcal infection in Sweden.
If you have a mild tonsillitis, a physician
may suggest antibiotic treatment but it is
not necessary every time. When your
body clears the infection without
antibiotics you have a better chance of
resisting future streptococci infections.

In cases of severe tonsillitis, antibiotics
will speed up recovery by an average of days.

 

In cases of recurrent tonsillitis within a 30 day timespan antibiotics may also be beneficial.
Is it necessary for me or my child
to take antibiotics right now?
What are the proven benefits
of taking antibiotics?
Could this course of antibiotics do more harm than good?

Advice regarding throat infections

Use antipyretics if necessary, though preferably only if your fever is high (over 39 C).

Take analgesics such as paracetamol and ibuprofen, in combination if necessary.

Hot drinks, such as hot water with honey can help alleviate throat ailments.
Optionally, throat lozenges can be consumed for symptom relief.

Wash your hands frequently to avoid infecting others.

Rest speeds up the healing process, the body needs to recover.

Perhaps a child would benefit from shorter days at pre-school (e.g. half days) for a while.

Regular sleep, fresh air, regular meals with plenty of fruit and vegetables, increase
your body's ability to resist infections and hasten recovery.
At the bus, 12th of December
I have had bronchitis and been coughing for weeks. When I cough my phlegm is yellow greenish in colour. I have no fever, no difficulty breathing and no pain. Would taking antibiotics help me recover from this cough more quickly?
Yes
No
No! Studies show that one recovery time regardless of whether one uses antibiotics or not.
Patients with pneumonia.
Some patients with (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) COPD
Mycoplasma bronchitis is no longer treated with antibiotics in Sweden.
Is it necessary for me or my child
to take antibiotics right now?
What are the proven benefits
of taking antibiotics?
Could this course of antibiotics do more harm than good?

Advice regarding a persistent cough

Drinking hot water with honey can relieve symptoms.

Take cough medicine, though preferably only at night time.
Coughing helps the body to get rid of sputum.

Take analgetics such as paracetamol and ibuprofenfor aches and pains
associated with persistent coughing.

Cold air can exacerbate a cough. Try to breathe through your nose or via a scarf if it is cold.

Your body needs to recover and rest speeds up the healing process.

Cough into your elbow to prevent infecting those around you.

Regular sleep, fresh air, regular meals with plenty of fruit and vegetables,
increase your body's ability to resist infections and hasten recovery.
Grandmother, 20th of February
Will antibiotics help my sinusitis
symptoms?
Yes
No
No!
Swollen mucus membranes
often cause these symptoms,
and then antibiotics do not help.
If youve had sinusitis symptoms
for a long time, say for more than
days or get better after
some days and then worse again.
If you have substantial pain and a fever.
If your sinusitis is confirmed by an X ray.
Is it necessary for me or my child
to take antibiotics right now?
What are the proven benefits of
taking antibiotics?
Could this course of antibiotics do more harm than good?

Advice regarding pain related to sinusitis symptoms in adults

Rinse your nose with lukewarm water or saline.
Various means for cleansing can be found in local pharmacies.

Use decongestant nasal spray for up to 10 consecutive days or use saline spray.

Use prescription based decongestants for a short period of time.

Take analgesics such as paracetamol and ibuprofen, in combination if necessary.

Some people experience symptom relief from inhaling steam containing menthol.

Rest, preferably with your head in a more elevated position than normal.

Regular sleep, fresh air, regular meals with plenty of fruit and vegetables,
increase your body's ability to resist infections and hasten recovery.
X
Y