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Preventing the Super Bug

(Antibiotic Use)


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Antibiotic Use

Here are some ways you can use antibiotics wisely to protect yourself and your family from antibiotic resistance:

1. Use antibiotics only when your healthcare provider prescribes them.

2. Take all of the antibiotics prescribed. If you do not take every dose of the medicine, you risk re-infection and increase the chance that antibiotic-resistant bacteria will develop.

3. Never take antibiotics prescribed for someone else.

4. Don't pressure your doctor to prescribe antibiotics to treat symptoms of a cold, flu or other viral illness.

5. Help your family fight disease: Check with your pediatrician to confirm your children are up-to-date on their immunizations. Protect yourself by getting a flu shot.

6. Wash hands thoroughly and often to help prevent illness and the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Do You Need An Antibiotic?

Your doctor or other healthcare provider is the best person to determine if you need an antibiotic, but here are some basic guidelines:

Colds and flu - No.

Viruses cause colds and flu and viruses can't be cured with antibiotics.

Cough or bronchitis - Maybe.

Viruses often cause coughs and bronchitis and viruses can't be cured with antibiotics. However, if you have a lung condition or the illness lasts a long time, your infection may be caused by bacteria.

Sore throat- Not unless you have strep throat.

If you have a runny nose and cough, your sore throat is probably caused by a virus and can't be cured by antibiotics. Strep throat is caused by bacteria and requires treatment with antibiotics.

Ear infections- Maybe.

There are several types of ear infections. Antibiotics are effective against most, but not all, ear infections.

Sinus infections- Maybe.

Even if you have a runny nose, or yellow or green mucus coming from your nose, you may not need an antibiotic.

For additional information about antibiotic resistance and the Save Antibiotic Strength campaign in Connecticut, call 1-888-WISE-USE for a free brochure or visit the Internet at

The Council for Affordable Quality Healthcare (CAQH), a not-for-profit alliance of America's leading health plans and networks, created the Save Antibiotic Strength campaign in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics (APUA), and other leading community and healthcare organizations across the country to provide Americans with the information they need to use antibiotics wisely.

Related Articles:
Childhood Disease & Illness
Home Remedies

Giving Medicine to Young Children



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