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What should I consider before taking antibiotics?

Yeisel Barquin, MD
Internal Medicine
If you are sick, it's best to first try conservative treatments to ease your symptoms. Antibiotics have serious side effects that can reduce your body’s ability to fight off other types of infections.

Here are some things to consider before taking antibiotics:
  • Do not demand antibiotics when a doctor says they are not needed.
  • Do not take an antibiotic for infections caused by a virus such as a cold or most sore throats.
  • Do not take antibiotics prescribed for someone else. The antibiotic may not be right for your or your child’s illness.
  • Taking the wrong medicine may delay correct treatment and allow harmful bacteria to increase.
If your doctor prescribes an antibiotic for a bacterial infection:
  • Do not skip doses.
  • Do not save any of the antibiotics for the next time you or your child gets sick.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.