Keep antibiotics working

We need to use antibiotics carefully, or they'll stop working.


Antibiotics aren’t always the best treatment for some common infections. In fact, they can’t fix a virus like a cold or flu, and are not usually needed to treat most ear infections.

Overusing antibiotics, especially when we don’t need to, is causing antibiotic resistance – when bacteria get better at defending themselves, and our antibiotics don’t work as well. 

Over time, antibiotics could stop working when we need them to, putting people’s lives at risk. It’s a global health threat, and we all need to help keep antibiotics working.

Health care professionals

He Ako Hiringa has produced a range of resources to help when you're considering prescribing antibiotics. These include articles, podcasts and customisable virus action plans for your patient.

Antibiotics - He Ako Hiringa(external link)

Virus action plans - available in 7 languages(external link)

The Best Practice Advisory Centre (bpacnz) has a guide to support antibiotic prescribing decisions organised around indications. 

Antibiotics Guide - bpacnz(external link)

People who use antibiotics

Healthify provides sensible, straightforward advice. They have guidance about taking antibiotics and when taking antibiotics might not be useful.

Antibiotics - Healthify(external link) 

Antibiotics stewardship: What New Zealand is doing

The Ministry for Primary Industries and Ministry of Health jointly govern the New Zealand Antimicrobial Resistance Action Plan.

The Ministry of Health has a range of resoruces for consumers and health care professionals on the responsible use of antibiotics. 

Antimicrobial resistance - Ministry of Health(external link)

Order "Keep Antibiotics Working" collateral

Pharmac has produced a range of posters and a pad with tear off sheets about using antibiotics wisely. These are free.

Order collateral(external link)