by Kazeem Olalekan MRPharmS

My advise to patients requesting antibiotics for common cold will be: Stop; take a deep breath and count to 72 hours. There is now a well recognised problem of increasing antimicrobial resistance due to overuse (1).

We all have a duty to do our best to moderate that cycle of expectation and belief which Professor Little described in an interview he gave to the Today program in 2008. I have no doubt that Dr Kieran Hand (who we interviewed recently as part of our case studies) shares the same sentiments.

Key Quotes:

“It comes down to education of pharmacy staff – getting the message across to patients that antibiotics are not always the answer for self-limiting conditions and that self-care is probably the best option,”

Jonathan Mason, the Department of Health’s national clinical director of primary care and community pharmacy.

“…the evidence from our research is that actually, most people if you talk to them and provide a decent advice about natural history; what they can do for themselves actually will be happy either if you don’t prescribe or if you offer what we call a delayed prescription: collect a prescription in a few days, if things are not settling.”

Professor Little, Professor of primary care research at University of


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