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:
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:
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.
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