Six Simple and Smart Facts About Antibiotic Use
- Antibiotics are life-saving drugs
- Antibiotics only treat bacterial infections
- Some ear infections DO NOT require an antibiotic
- Most sore throats DO NOT require an antibiotic
- Green colored mucus is NOT a sign that an antibiotic is needed
- There are potential risks when taking any prescription drug
Work with your healthcare provider to find the best treatment. Antibiotics do not fight viral illnesses like colds. Taking antibiotics for colds can be harmful to your health — in fact, unnecessary antibiotics can make future infections harder to treat. When bacteria cannot be killed by antibiotics, they have become resistant. Over time, some infections may have to be treated with different and stronger antibiotics. In the future, it is possible that no antibiotic will be effective in killing resistant bacteria.
Learn more about antibiotics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.