PATIENTS have been urged to think twice before demanding antibiotics from their GP.

Antibiotic prescribing across north east Essex is up 30 per cent on this time last year according to Paul Breame, pharmaceutical advisor with the North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group.

The more people take the drugs, the less effective they become.

Mr Breame said:  “We know from the feedback we receive from GPs that many people expect – often demand – antibiotics prescribed to them if they have a cold, cough, flu or ear-ache.

“However, the facts are that antibiotics will not help with most of these infections as the majority are caused by viruses.”

Mr Breame’s sentiments echo concerns voiced by chief medical officer Professor Dame Sally Davies, who described antibiotic resistance as one of the greatest threats to modern health.