Left Chevron
 FDA Alerts
May 31, 2022

Antibiotics and antibiotic resistance

Download This Safety Alert

Antibiotics are a group of medicines that specifically treat infections caused by bacteria. They do not work in treating infections caused by viruses. The common cold, most sore throats, and the flu (influenza virus) are caused by viruses and should not be treated with antibiotics. If a person takes antibiotics for a viral infection, the antibiotics:

  • Will NOT cure the infection
  • Will NOT keep others from catching the infection
  • Will NOT help you feel better
  • Will NOT get you back to work/school faster

Many bacterial infections are becoming resistant to antibiotics because an antibiotic was not prescribed or used correctly. If the bacteria is resistant to an antibiotic, it means that the antibiotic will no longer work to treat that bacterial infection. To prevent antibiotic resistance:

  • Doctors should prescribe an antibiotic only for a bacterial infection
  • Patients should finish all of the antibiotic when treating a bacterial infection, even if they are feeling better
  • Patients should discard any leftover antibiotics if they are not able to finish them
  • Patients should only take antibiotics that were prescribed for them (do not use an antibiotic prescribed for someone else or give your antibiotic to someone else to use)

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has partnered with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other healthcare, government, academic, international, and industry partners as part of a joint effort to raise awareness about the appropriate use of antibiotics.

To test your knowledge about antibiotic use, take the CDC antibiotics quiz, Be an Antibiotics Whiz, by visiting: www.ismp.org/ext/558.
Advice from FDA is a feature brought to you by FDA. You can find this information and more on FDA’s Consumer Health Information website at: www.ismp.org/ext/559. This website features the latest updates on medicines and products regulated by FDA. Sign up for a free email subscription at: www.ismp.org/ext/262.

Please visit the following link for more information: 
Antibiotics and antibiotic resistance