The Truth About Antibiotics

3 facts you should know:

  1. Antibiotics fight illnesses caused by bacteria. They won’t help you if you have a cold or flu. That is why your Doctor will not always prescribe an antibiotic.
  2. You should be careful when taking antibiotics. Tell your Doctor if you are allergic or have any side effects. Common side effects are nausea, diarrhea, or stomach pain.
  3. Antibiotics are strong medicines. When they are misused the bacteria can become resistant to the antibiotic. Take antibiotics the way your Doctor tells you.

You may need antibiotics for:

  • Some ear infections
  • Some sinus infections
  • Strep throat
  • Many types of skin infections
  • Urinary tract infections

You do not need antibiotics for:

  • Most colds and the flu
  • Most coughs
  • Most sore throats
  • Many types of bronchitis
  • Runny nose

What to do if you need to take antibiotics:

If your Doctor prescribes an antibiotic make sure you know how you need to take it. To protect yourself and your children follow your Doctors instructions.

Here are some tips when taking antibiotics:


  • Take all your antibiotics. Don’t stop just because you feel better.
  • Take your antibiotics at the time your Doctor suggests.
  • Read all warning labels. Check with your Doctor and the pharmacist what foods you cannot take with the antibiotic.
  • Never take antibiotics leftover from an old prescription, or given to you by another person.

You will need Adobe Reader 6.0 or later to view the PDF file. Download Adobe Acrobat Reader.