NHS Highland are supporting an attempt to stop antibiotics from becoming obsolete or ineffective.
Without effective antibiotics many conditions once treated routinely with antibiotics will become increasingly dangerous or, in some cases fatal, if bacteria become resistant to them through overuse said a doctor.
Antibiotic resistance is built up through overuse and European Antibiotic Awareness Day is being held today to highlight the risks. The event has been supported by the senior north doctors.
Consultant microbiologist Dr Adam Brown said: “The more we use antibiotics the greater the chance there is that they will stop working and not kill bacteria as well as they used to.
“These are precious medicines that we can’t afford to lose but if we don’t act fast that is exactly what will happen.
“Everyday procedures carried out in healthcare settings such as setting broken bones, basic operations, even cancer chemotherapy all rely on access to antibiotics that work.
“Can you imagine being in a world where we are unable to carry out these procedures?”
As part of the Europe wide awareness day, the public and medical community are being asked to take a pledge to cut down on the use of antibiotics.
The pledge includes suggesting if you have an infection such as a cough, cold or sore throat you will pledge to try and treat the symptoms for five days on your own rather than go to your GP.
You will also be asked to talk to your pharmacist before going to your GP and, finally, you are asked to make a commitment to always take any unused antibiotics to your pharmacist for safe disposal.
Doctors will be asked to only prescribe antibiotics when needed and to tailor them to each individual patient.
Dr Brown added: “We don’t need antibiotics every time we are ill, they make little difference to colds, flu or sore throats.
“What we need them for is treating bacterial infections.”