Antibiotics are powerful medicine that treat bacterial infections like strep throat and urinary tract infections. They do not work for the flu, colds, coughs and sore throats, and they can cause side effects like diarrhea, an upset stomach, and nausea.

Learning when you need antibiotics and how to take them properly can help you benefit from these medications with the least risk.

What are Antibiotics?
Antibiotics are medications used to fight infections caused by bacteria. They treat infections by killing or decreasing the growth of bacteria. Bacteria are microscopic germs that live inside your body, on your skin and all around you.

Most types of bacteria won’t hurt you and some keep you healthy. But certain bacteria can make you sick.

Brief history of Antibiotic:
Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin, the first natural antibiotic, in 1928. Penicillin-based antibiotics are still available to treat a variety of infections and have been in use for many years.

Tips for proper antibiotic use:
Take your antibiotics exactly as your provider instructs.
Use antibiotics to treat the specific infection you received them for.
Don’t take medicine a provider prescribed for someone else.

Antibiotic resistance:
Antibiotic resistance occurs when people overuse antibiotics or use them incorrectly, the bacteria might become resistant and no longer respond to the antibiotic designed to kill them.

We all want to feel better instantly when sickness strikes. But viruses, not bacteria, are the culprits in many common infections, like colds and flu. Taking antibiotics for a cold simply won’t work.

Be responsible and use antibiotics only when needed.

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