Antibiotics and The Flu
What Everyone Should Know
Are you aware that colds, flu, most sore throats and bronchitis are caused by viruses? Did you know that antibiotics do not help fight viruses? It’s true. Plus, taking antibiotics when you have a virus may do more harm than good. Taking antibiotics when they are not needed increases your risk of getting an infection later that resists antibiotic treatment.
If You Have a Cold or Flu, Antibiotics Won’t Work For You!
Antibiotics kill bacterial infections, not viral infections such as:
• Colds or flu
• Most coughs and bronchitis
• Sore throats not caused by strep
• Runny noses
Taking antibiotics for viral infections, such as a cold, cough, the flu or most cases of bronchitis, will not:
• Cure the infections
• Keep other individuals from catching the illness
• Help you feel better
What Can You Do To Protect Yourself Or Your Child?
When you use antibiotics appropriately, you do the best thing for your health, your family’s health and the health of those around you.
What To Do
• Talk with your healthcare provider about antibiotic resistance.
• When you are prescribed an antibiotic, take it exactly as the doctor tells you.
• Complete the prescribed course even if you are feeling better. If treatment stops too soon, some bacteria may survive and re-infect you.
• This goes for children, too. Make sure your children take all medication as prescribed, even if they feel better.
• Throw away any leftover medication once you have completed your prescription.