The public is being warned that overuse of antibiotics is now one of the biggest threats to patient safety in Ireland.
As a winter cold snap kicks in, pharmacists are advising patients with common complaints like colds and flu - not to take antibiotics.
Pharmacists warn that antibiotics will not help with tackling the viruses responsible for coughs, colds and sniffles at this time of year.
Daragh Connolly of the President of the Irish Pharmacy Union said: "Pharmacists want people to really understand that antibiotics are a very precious resource for a very specific job which is fighting bacteria, not fighting viruses...
"(Viruses, and not bacteria) are causing all of these coughs, colds and sniffles at this time of year."