Call to return unused medicines as third Antibiotic Amnesty gets under way - The Solihull Observer

Call to return unused medicines as third Antibiotic Amnesty gets under way

Solihull Editorial 8th Nov, 2023   0

SILHILLIANS are being called on to return old or unused antibiotics to their nearest pharmacy to dispose of them safely in a bid to help keep antibiotics working as part of the third annual Antibiotic Amnesty.

The month-long campaign has been adopted across the entire Midlands, with over 300 local pharmacies supporting the amnesty throughout November 2023.

The Antibiotic Amnesty overlaps with World Antibiotic Awareness Week, which runs from November 18 to 24, and aims to raise awareness and promote the safe use and disposal of antibiotics.

During November, in addition to encouraging the public to return their old or unused antibiotics to their nearest pharmacy, healthcare staff will be speaking to patients about why you should never save antibiotics for later (unless instructed by a healthcare professional), never share antibiotics with others and never flush antibiotics down the sink or toilet, or dispose of via domestic waste.

Patients should only take antibiotics when advised by a health professional and complete the course of antibiotics.

Lisa Stalley-Green, chief nursing officer and deputy chief executive at NHS Birmingham and Solihull, said: “Antibiotic resistant infections are much harder to treat and may mean that many of the advances in medicine that rely on antibiotics, such as chemotherapy or routine operations, become increasingly unsafe in the future.




“With winter illnesses on the rise, such as colds, sore throats and flu, if someone finds leftover antibiotics in their bathroom cabinet or in their handbag and gives that medication to an unwell friend, they will be doing more harm than good.

“It’s important for all of us, health professionals and public alike, to support the Antibiotic Amnesty, so we can help keep antibiotics working.”


During last year’s Antibiotic Amnesty, 883 full or part packs of antibiotics were returned to pharmacies across the Midlands for safe disposal.

A total of 343 pharmacies in the Midlands supported the amnesty and local pharmacists had 4,678 conversations with the public about the amnesty and its importance to patient safety.

Pharmacies will always accept unwanted medicines from people or households for safe disposal.

Medicines returned to a pharmacy are safely stored, collected by a licensed waste contractor and taken for safe disposal by incineration.

To find your nearest local pharmacy via the NHS website and more information about antibiotics is available on the NHS Birmingham and Solihull website.

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