Get Smart about Antibiotics

Antibiotics do not fight infections caused by viruses like colds, flu, most sore throats, bronchitis, and many sinus and ear infections. They should only be used to fight bacterial infections. Taking antibiotics incorrectly can actually strengthen bacteria, making them less effective.

Patients need to use antibiotics sensibly. Avoid asking for antibiotics for illnesses caused by viruses. These conditions are best treated with rest and fluids.

If an antibiotic is needed:

  • Do not skip doses.
  • Do not stop taking antibiotics early unless your doctor tells you to do so.
  • Make sure you understand how to take them.
    • How many times a day?
    • How much time should pass between each dose?
    • Should you take them with food?
  • Finish all of the medicine, even after you feel better.

When you use antibiotics the right way, you do the best for your health, your family’s health, and the health of those around you.