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Health Tip: Get the Facts About Antibiotics
Know when they help, and when they don't

By Diana Kohnle

(HealthDay News) -- Antibiotics aren't always what you or your child needs to get well.

The American Academy of Pediatrics explains:

  • An antibiotic will not help the common cold, which is caused by a virus. Antibiotics only treat bacterial infections, not those caused by viruses or other germs.
  • Overuse of an antibiotic could lead to bacteria that becomes resistant to that medication. That's why an antibiotic should never be used unless necessary.
  • An antibiotic could cause mild side effects, such as diarrhea.
  • Green or yellow mucus can signal a viral infection or a bacterial infection. Symptoms lasting longer than 10 days accompanied by fever may mean a bacterial infection.
  • Not all ear infections need an antibiotic. Many will go away without treatment. Ask your doctor about this.
  • Most sore throats are caused by a virus, but strep throat does need an antibiotic.
  • An antibiotic usually starts working within three days, so call your doctor if you don't see an improvement by then.
  • Never share an antibiotic with anyone, take it exactly as directed and always finish the prescription even if you feel better.

Copyright © 2016 HealthDay. All rights reserved. URL:http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=716993

Resources from HONselect: HONselect is the HON's medical search engine. It retrieves scientific articles, images, conferences and web sites on the selected subject.
Infection
Bacterial Infections
Fever
Lead
Therapeutics
The list of medical terms above are retrieved automatically from the article.

Disclaimer: The text presented on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It is for your information only and may not represent your true individual medical situation. Do not hesitate to consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare professional.
Be advised that HealthDay articles are derived from various sources and may not reflect your own country regulations. The Health On the Net Foundation does not endorse opinions, products, or services that may appear in HealthDay articles.


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