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Health Tip: Prevent Antibiotic Overuse

- Antibiotics are meant to treat bacterial infections, but they aren't effective against viruses such as those that cause the common cold.

To prevent overuse of antibiotics, it's important to only take them for bacterial infections.

Here are suggestions on how to use antibiotics properly, courtesy of the Nemours Foundation:

  • Only take antibiotics as recommended by your doctor. Never take any antibiotic that was prescribed for someone else, or that was prescribed for you to treat a different illness.
  • If your doctor says you have a virus, you shouldn't ask for an antibiotic.
  • Take your antibiotic exactly as prescribed, and always finish your prescription. Never save some of your antibiotic to treat a future infection.
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Posted: February 2008