THE ABC'S OF ANTIBIOTICS
Infection Prevention and You!
COMPLETE THE COURSE
“Are these antibiotics necessary?”
“What can I do to feel better?”
Antibiotics do not kill viruses.
They only kill bacteria.
Take all of your antibiotics exactly as prescribed (even if you are feeling better).
YOU DO NOT NEED ANTIBIOTICS FOR:
X Colds or flu;
X Most coughs and bronchitis;
X Sore throats not caused by strep;
X Runny noses; or
X Most ear aches.
Using antibiotics the wrong way can cause bacteria to grow into superbugs. This could make your next infection much harder to treat.
TOP 5 QUESTIONS YOU CAN ASK YOUR HEALTHCARE
PROVIDER ABOUT ANTIBIOTICS:
1. Do I really need an antibiotic?
2. Can I get better without this antibiotic?
3. What side effects or drug interactions can I expect?
4. What side effects should I report to you?
5. How do you know what kind of infection I have?
I understand that antibiotics won’t work for viral infections.
PRESSURE YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER FOR ANTIBIOTICS
SHOULD KNOW ABOUT
DID YOU KNOW?
Antibiotics are drugs used to treat bacterial infections. Using antibiotics the wrong way can lead to antibiotic-resistant infections. Each year in the United States, at least 2 million people get serious infections with bacteria that are resistant to one or more of the antibiotics designed to treat those infections. At least 23,000 people die each year as a direct result of these antibioticresistant infections.1 And this is why healthcare providers are being more careful when prescribing antibiotics.
WHAT IS ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE?
Antibiotic resistance happens when bacteria change in a way that reduces or eliminates the ability of antibiotics to kill the bacteria.
HOW CAN I HELP PREVENT
• Take antibiotics exactly as your healthcare
provider instructs .
• Only take antibiotics prescribed for you.
X Do not save antibiotics for the next illness
or share them with others.
X Do not pressure your healthcare provider
1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Antibiotic Resistance Threats in the United States, 2013.