Spaniards are not as afraid of antibiotics as other Europeans because between 30 and 40 per cent of antibiotics taken in this country are self-prescribed, according to Dr Rosario Menéndez of the Hospital La Fe in Valencia. She was speaking at the opening of a symposium on the rational use of antibiotics. She told her audience that Spaniards think that antibiotics are more efficient and innocuous and are not aware that misuse can lead to the appearance of resistant strains of bacteria. She said that home first aid boxes were “one of the dangers of self medication,” adding that having medicines at home was dangerous to children. She slammed parents for saving medicines and using them again the minute similar symptoms, however slight, appear. She said that if any antibiotics are left after treatment they should be returned to a chemist, to be handed over to a non-governmental organisation.

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