Antibiotic Treatment Facts


Antibiotics are important life-saving drugs used to treat bacterial infections. Using antibiotics wisely is the best way to preserve their strength and effectiveness against the bacteria they fight.

Viral illnesses cannot be treated with antibiotics. Your healthcare provider can offer advice on how to relieve viral symptoms and help you feel better.

Antibiotic Resistance - Why is This Important?

According to the CDC, overuse and mis-use of antibiotics is contributing to antibiotic resistance, now one of the most pressing public health concerns world-wide. Antibiotic resistance is the ability of a bacteria to resist the affects of an antibiotic. This can cause illnesses that were once easily treatable with antibiotics to become dangerous infections that are harder to manage and more expensive to treat.

How Can You Help Prevent Antibiotic Resistance?

To help prevent the spread of antibiotic resistance, the CDC recommends the following:

•Ask your healthcare provider if there are steps you can take to help relieve symptoms without taking antibiotics
•If prescribed an antibiotic, follow dosage instructions carefully
•Do not skip doses, or stop taking your antibiotic early, without talking to your healthcare provider
•Never take an antibiotic for a viral infection like a cold or flu
•Do not pressure your healthcare provider to prescribe antibiotics

Learn more about when antibiotics work and when they don't :

Viruses or Bacteria, What's Got You Sick?

Get Smart About Antibiotics - CDC FAQs

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