Antibiotics won't help if you have a virus like the flu or a cold. They can actually cause problems later called "antibiotic resistance."
What are viruses?
Viruses are germs that can cause infections such as a cold, the flu, and bronchitis. A virus can travel through the air and enter your body when a sick person coughs or sneezes. Your body will try to fight and kill the virus. If your body can’t kill the virus right away, then you will start to feel sick in 1-2 days.
What are antibiotics?
Antibiotics are medications that treat infections caused by bacteria. Antibiotics do not kill viruses. Antibiotics do not cure or lessen cold and flu symptoms. Instead, overuse can lead to “antibiotic resistance.”
What is antibiotic resistance?
Antibiotic resistance happens when antibiotics lose their power to kill bacteria. This happens when we use antibiotics that are not needed or do not take them as directed.
Prevent antibiotic resistance now!
Take antibiotics ONLY when prescribed by your doctor. NEVER share antibiotics or take leftovers. Take ALL your antibiotics, even if you start to feel better. Finish ALL your pills. Do not save them for later.
When will my doctor prescribe antibiotics?
Only a doctor, nurse practitioner, or doctor assistant can tell if you need an antibiotic. They will write a prescription for you.