Do I need antibiotic therapy for treating a viral infection?

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Antibiotics treat bacterial infections. Anti-virals treat viral infections. Using an antibiotic on a viral infection will have no effect. Sometimes, you have both types of infection at the same time, requiring both types of drugs.

Always take medications as directed for the entire prescription. If you don't start feeling better in 2 to 3 days, you may need a different drug. If you have any noticeable side effects, report them to your druggist or physician. If you have trouble breathing, your mouth or tongue swells or you suddenly break out in a rash, get help right away.

Continue Learning about Viral Infections

Viral Infections

Viral Infections

Viral infections like herpes simplex, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), chicken pox and rotavirus are infections caused by a virus instead of a bacterium. Viral infections do not respond to antibiotics, but some specific viruses ...

like influenza A and B can be treated with certain antiviral medications. Most commonly, treatment for viral infections includes drinking lots of fluids, getting rest, eating well and letting the illness run its course.
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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.