Together we can keep antibiotics working

Why you need to take action

  • Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats to global health, food security, and the environment today.
  • Antibiotic resistance is happening now in New Zealand and around the world. It can affect anyone, of any age, in any country.
  • Antibiotic resistance stops antibiotics from working effectively against bacteria. It means some infections become more difficult, and sometimes impossible to treat.
  • Antibiotics are overused in humans in New Zealand. Using antibiotics when they are not needed drives bacteria to become more resistant.
  • Antibiotics only work against bacteria. They do not work for viral infections like a cold or the flu.
  • Bacteria that cause infections like pneumonia, gonorrhoea and tuberculosis have all started developing antibiotic resistance.
  • Preventing infections and their spread helps stop antibiotic resistance by reducing the need for antibiotics.
  • Antibiotic resistance can also affect your pets.

What you can do

  • Regularly wash your hands and keep up to date with vaccinations.
  • Remember the 3Cs when cooking at home. 
  • Trust your health professional if they advise that you don’t need antibiotics. Ask them about other ways to relieve your symptoms.
  • Only take antibiotics if they are prescribed for you, don’t use or share leftover antibiotics.
  • If antibiotics are prescribed for you, follow your health professional’s advice on when and how to take them.
  • Take any unused antibiotics back to your pharmacy so they are disposed of safely and don’t enter the environment.