Unfortunately, no amount of antibiotics will get rid of your cold



The best way to treat most colds, coughs or sore throats is plenty of fluids and rest.  For advice talk to your pharmacist

Get better without using antibiotics

This page explains the need to get the right treatment for common illnesses such as colds and coughs without encouraging antibiotic resistance.

imagesCAKJ6WQRHow should I treat my cold?

The best way to treat most colds, coughs or sore throats is to drink plenty of fluids and to rest.  Colds can last 10 days to two weeks and may end with a cough and bringing up phlegm.  There are many over the counter remedies to ease the symptoms – paracetamol, for example.  Ask your pharmacist for advice.  If the cold lasts more than three weeks, or you become breathless or have chest or have chest pains, or already have a chest complaint, see your doctor.

imagesCAKJ6WQRWhat about my children, they’re always getting coughs and colds?

It’s very common for children to get coughs and colds, especially when they go to school and mix with other children.  Ask your pharmacist for advice.  If the symptoms persist and you are concerned, see your doctor but you shouldn’t expect to be prescribed antibiotics.

imagesCAKJ6WQRWhy should antibiotics not be used to treat coughs and colds?

 All colds and most coughs are caused by viruses.  Antibiotics do not work against infections, such as colds, caused by viruses.  Viral infections are much more common than bacterial infections.

imagesCAKJ6WQRWhat are antibiotics?

 Antibiotics are important medicines used to treat infections caused by bacteria.  Bacteria can adapt and find ways to survive the effects of an antibiotic.  They become ‘antibiotic resistant’ so that the antibiotic no longer works.  The more often we use an antibiotic, the more likely it is that bacteria will become resistant to it.  Some bacteria that cause infections in hospitals, such as MRSA, are resistant to several antibiotics.

imagesCAKJ6WQRWhy can’t different antibiotics be used instead?

They can, but they may not be as effective, and they may have more side-effects.  And eventually the bacteria will become resistant to them too.  We cannot be sure we will always be able to find new antibiotics to replace the old ones.  In recent years fewer new antibiotics have been discovered.

imagesCAKJ6WQRHow can antibiotic resistance be avoided?

By using antibiotics less often we can slow down the development of resistance.  It’s not possible to stop it completely, but slowing it down stops resistance spreading and buys some time to develop new types of antibiotics.

imagesCAKJ6WQRWhat can I do about antibiotic resistance?

By only using antibiotics when it’s appropriate to do so.  We now know that most coughs and colds get better just as quickly without antibiotics.  When they are prescribed, the complete course should be taken in order to get rid of the bacteria completely.  If the course isn’t completed, some bacteria may be left to develop resistance.

imagesCAKJ6WQRSo when will I be prescribed antibiotics?

Your doctor will only prescribe antibiotics when you need them, for example for a kidney infection or pneumonia, or if you have COPD and have a chest infection.  Antibiotics may be life-saving for infections such as meningitis.  By not using them unnecessarily, they are more likely to work when we need them.

Shingles vaccination for 70 to 79 year olds

Shingles Vaccination

The Government has brought in a  vaccination to prevent shingles because of the high incidence of those elderly people who get shingles and are left with terrible pain which can last for months, called Post Herpatic Neuralgia.

The campaign includes those who are aged 70 to 79 on the 1st of September 2019.

You can have it at the same time as your Flu jag, and there is no harm in getting both at the same time.

If you haven’t had the Pneumococcal vaccination before, it is perfectly safe to to get all three vaccinations at the same time.

Before your shingles vaccination

Inform your surgery if:

  • You are on any medication
  • You have had shingles or post herpetic neuralgia (nerve pain following shingles) in the past year?
  • You have ever had a serious allergic reaction to a previous dose of shingles vaccine
  • You are feeling unwell or have a fever
  • You have problems with your immune system due to disease or treatment
  • You have had cancer, leukaemia or lymphoma
  • You have ever had an organ or bone marrow transplant
  • You have rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, sarcoidosis or inflammatory bowel disease
  • You have tuberculosis
  • You are HIV positive
  • You have been treated with oral steroids, anti-cancer drugs, biological therapy, radiotherapy or chemotherapy in the last 12 months.
  • You have been treated recently with oral antivirals such as aciclovir

After your shingles vaccination

Like all vaccines, the shingles vaccine may cause side effects for some people. Most people don’t encounter any problems at all but here are some of the more common known side effects which are minor and include:

  • Redness, pain, swelling and itching at the injection site
  • Headache
  • Pain in the arm or leg
  • Warmth, bruising or a hard lump at the injection site

These are minor in comparison to getting Shingles. For a full list of known side effects, please refer to the Patient Information Leaflet.

If you have any symptoms that cause you concern (including any mentioned above), or you need any advice, talk to your GP or practice nurse.


If you experience any side effects you can report these to www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard

Or to Sanofi Pasteur MSD, telephone number 01628 785291.




 What is shingles?

Shingles (herpes zoster) is a nerve infection caused by the chickenpox virus. It only affects people who’ve had chickenpox.  After you’ve had chickenpox, the virus can remain inactive in your spine.   Sometimes after many years there is a sudden reactivation of the virus and you get shingles.  This may happen when you are stressed or feeling run down.

What happens?

You experience a tingling or burning pain in a particular area of your body, normally the torso.  This is because certain nerves are affected.  After a few days a rash or blisters appear on an area of skin above these nerves.  The blisters may itch.  You may run a slight  temperature, feel tired, depressed and generally under the weather.

What can you do to help?

If you visit your doctor within a few days of your shingles rash appearing, you may receive antiviral medicine to help prevent the virus replicating and to ease the pain.  It is important that you take the treatment as prescribed and complete the course.  You should also make sure you take plenty of rest and you can also put calamine lotion on your blisters to soothe the itching.

Can you give shingles to other people?

You can’t give shingles to other people.  But people who’ve not had chickenpox can get chickenpox from being in contact with someone with shingles.

How long does shingles last?

Shingles is a disease that has several stages.  Initially when you have the appearance of blisters you are contagious.  That means you can pass the virus on to other people. This last for around 7-10 days or until the blisters have died up and scabbed over.  The scabs will take a further 10-14 days to heal completely.  In some cases the associated pain may last several weeks or even months and you may need to go back to your Doctor.

Are there people you should keep away from?

Stay away from people who haven’t had chickenpox, especially pregnant women, babies and young children.  Also avoid people who may have a serious illness that makes it difficult for them to fight infection.

Can you go to work or go to places with lots of people?

It’s best to keep away until your blisters have gone.

What happens if you scratch your drying blisters?

They may get infected and feel even more sore.  They’ll take longer to heal and may cause scarring.  You may also need antibiotics.

Can you get shingles more than once?

Most people only get shingles once.  But the virus can recur if you are run down and may affect a different part of the body.  People with reduced immunity may suffer repeated attacks.

Where can you get more information?

Shingles Support Society

41 North Road, London, N7 9DP.

Tel: 020 7609 9061






Bowel Screening News


The Health Board is very disappointed with the uptake of Bowel Screening in this area. There has been an average of 56% non-response to the Bowel Screening kits sent out for our practice, which is a real pity when the Government have put aside money to provide this very important screening.

Bowel cancer is the third most common cancer in Scotland after lung and breast cancer. Every year, almost 4,000 people are diagnosed with the disease.

The Scottish Bowel Screening Programme invites all men and women in Scotland between the ages of 50 to 74 for screening every two years. The programme has been rolled out across Scotland and is now available in all NHS Boards.

It is voluntary to take part, but your GP’s strongly recommend that you take part in this screening process, because :

Bowel cancer can be present for a long time before any symptoms appear. If bowel cancer is detected before symptoms appear, it is easier to treat and there is a better chance of surviving the disease.

There is absolutely no need to be embarrassed about taking part in this screening test, it could save your life.

Scottish Bowel Screening Helpline: 0800 0121 833

Find out more by checking out these websites:






Health Videos


We have added some great Health Videos developed by Dr Mike Evans, a Canadian doctor, which are easy to understand and short to watch. Find them in the “Keeping Healthy” section of the website, under ” A Must See”.

They include:

“The single best thing you can do for your health.”
“What is the single best thing you can do to quit smoking.”
“The single best thing you can do for your stress.”
“Treating Sitting Disease”
“Let’s make our day harder”
“Cancer related fatigue”
“Low back pain”
“Hip and Knee replacement”
“What is the best way to treat acne?”
“Inflammatory Bowel Disease”
“Failing Kidneys and different types of Dialysis”