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Are you using antibiotics and painkillers unnecessarily?

Doctor Source: AAP

The Choosing Wisely Australia campaign has released over 60 recommendations from 14 medical associations across the country.

New recommendations from medical professionals across Australia suggest the unnecessary use of antibiotics and painkillers could be causing more harm than good.

The not-for-profit group N-P-S MedicineWise has compiled the report in an effort to encourage doctors and patients to question if tests, scans and treatments are always essential.

The head of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, Dr Frank Jones, says antibiotic resistance is worldwide problem and should be taken seriously. He says that is particularly the case for children - "One of the specific recommendations we talked about today was about not using antibiotics in children between the age of 2 and 12 -- this is excluding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children -- not using an antibiotic if the child only has a sore ear or a red eardrum, with no other signs of severe infection."

Dr Jones says it is important that people understand antibiotics kills germs, not viruses.

The Australian College of Nursing's Kylie Ward says, if it is only a low-grade fever, it is better to let the body remedy itself naturally - "Having a fever will actually contribute to the healing process. That is, if the child is not displaying any other symptoms and if they're undistressed."

Also under scrutiny is the use of painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, to treat fever.