Could you Become an antibiotic guardian?

Campaign launched to reduce antibiotic prescriptions

19 November, 2015 / infocus

Scottish dentists are being urged to consider other options to antibiotics in an effort to help fight the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance.

Jacqueline Sneddon, project lead for the Scottish Antimicrobial Prescribing Group, hopes that this year’s European Antibiotic Awareness Day on 18 November will inspire dentists to take action to improve the way they use antibiotics.

Dentists are being asked to support the Antibiotic Guardian pledge campaign by considering drainage for dental infections before issuing antibiotics, discussing with patients the importance of antimicrobial resistance and, when seeing a patient in pain, discussing methods of controlling symptoms rather than prescribing antibiotics as the first course of action.

Despite dental prescribing accounting for just 8.4 per cent of antibiotic use in Scotland and the overall use reducing in each of the last two years, Jacqueline has warned against complacency.

She said: “Data has shown marked variation between dental practices with some using far more antibiotics than others.

“This mirrors the situation with GP practices and, for the past two years, GPs have had a national quality indicator with a target to reduce total use of antibiotics using a ‘best in class’ approach to reduce variation.

“A quality improvement approach such as this may also be helpful to reduce variation in prescribing rates among dentists.

“Antimicrobial resistance is a problem that will never go away, but we are starting to win the battle to prevent further spread.

“All healthcare professionals must remain vigilant to stop unnecessary antibiotic use and ensure optimal use of antibiotics when they are required.”

For more information on the Antibiotic Guardian Campaign, visit and to find out more about European Antibiotic Awareness Day, visit the official website

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