Get Smart about Antibiotics: 10 Things You Should Know. #SaveABX


Antibiotics are powerful tools for fighting illness, but overuse of antibiotics has helped create new strains of infectious diseases.  With reactions to antibiotics in children are the most common cause of emergency department visits for adverse drug events, arm yourself with these facts:

  1. Antibiotics don’t treat a cold (or flu). Make sure to get plenty of rest and drink fluids.
  2. Antibiotics don’t treat Sore Throats but does treat Strep Throat.
  3. If you have a VIRAL infection, antibiotics won’t help cure it or get you better faster.  Antibiotics only treat bacterial infections. Ask your doctor, do I have a viral or bacterial infection?
  4. Antibiotics should only be used when they are absolutely necessary. Taking antibiotics can lead to side effects and overuse can lead to the development of drug-resistant bacteria.
  5. If you need an antibiotic, take it as prescribed until it is gone.  Do not stop them unless your doctor tells you to do so, even if you feel better.
  6. Throw away any excess antibiotics once the prescribed dosage is complete.
  7. Only take antibiotics prescribed for you; do not share or use leftover antibiotics. Antibiotics treat specific types of infections. Taking the wrong medicine may delay correct treatment and allow bacteria to multiply, meaning you’ll be sicker longer.
  8. To work properly, some antibiotics have to be taken on an empty stomach, while others need to be taken with certain foods. The antibiotic package insert will contain this information, but you can also ask your pharmacist for advice.
  9. Do not ask for antibiotics when your doctor thinks you do not need them.
  10. Prevent infections by practicing good hand hygiene and getting recommended vaccines.

When antibiotics are employed when absolutely necessary, you can be comforted knowing that it will work when it needs to work.

For more information on Getting Smart about Antibiotics, visit the CDC’s page at:

To continue and follow our conversation visit OTCSafety on Facebook, @OTCSafety and #OTCSafety as well as #SaveABX on Twitter.


{ disclosure:  I receive compensation for my participation in the CHPA educational foundation’s OTC Safety Ambassador program.  However, the content and opinions in this post are my own. }