Improving Antibiotic Use

Dec 29, 2021 | Everyday Health

Using antibiotics in a smart and safe manner is important. Many people have questions about antibiotics. Today we are going to be answering four of those questions. 

Do I really need antibiotics?

You are sick – you may be asking, do I need antibiotics? That depends on what you are sick with! Antibiotics are only needed for treating certain infections caused by bacteria. So if you have a bacterial infection say YES to antibiotics. However, if you have a virus – such as a cold or flu or even a runny nose, antibiotics won’t be of any help to you. Antibiotics also won’t help from some common bacterial infections including sinus infections, bronchitis, and some ear infections.

Do antibiotics have side effects?

Anytime an antibiotic is used it can cause side effects. When antibiotics aren’t needed, they won’t help you and you can still experience these side effects. Some common side effects include rash, nausea, diarrhea, dizziness, and yeast infections. It is important to remember that antibiotics save lives, and when a patient needs antibiotics, the benefits outweigh the side effects. 

What are antibiotic-resistant bacteria?

Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria no longer respond to the drugs designed to kill them. Anytime antibiotics are used, they can cause antibiotic resistance. More than 2.8 million antibiotic-resistant infections occur in the United States each year. These infections can easily be harder to treat and are easily spread to others. 

Can I feel better without antibiotics?

Respiratory viruses usually go away in a week or two without treatment. To stay healthy and keep others healthy, you can: wash your hands, cover your coughs, get your recommended vaccines, and stay home when you are sick. 


Using antibiotics in a smart and safe manner is important. Talk with your doctor if you have any questions about antibiotics today.