Here is a helpful tip to get you through the week: you DO NOT need antibiotics every time you cough, sneeze, or have a fever. I will tell you why.

Antibiotics are medication designed to fight against bacterial and fungal infections. They are specially designed chemical formulas that target the metabolism of bacteria and fungi ( in which case they are called anti fungal medication). Up to one-third to one-half of antibiotic use in humans is either unnecessary or inappropriate.

Antibiotics do not fight infections caused by viruses like colds, flu, most sore throats, and bronchitis. Even many sinus and ear infections can get better without antibiotics. Instead, symptom relief might be the best treatment option for these infections.

Taking antibiotics for viral infections, such as colds, flu, most sore throats, and bronchitis:

Will not cure the infection
Will not keep other people from getting sick
Will not help you or your child feel better
May cause unnecessary and harmful side effects
May contribute to antibiotic resistance, which is when bacteria are able to resist the effects of an antibiotic and continue to cause harm.

(image courtesy: CDC, FDA)


Rest, fluids, and over-the-counter products may be your or your child’s best treatment options for symptoms associated with viral infections. Remember, there are potential risks when taking any prescription drug. Unneeded antibiotics may lead to harmful side effects and future antibiotic-resistant infections.

If, on the other hand, you are suffering from a bacterial infection that requires attention,

Do not skip doses.
Do not stop taking the antibiotics early unless your healthcare professional tells you to do so.
Do not save any of the antibiotics for the next time you or your child gets sick.


Dr. Annie

Physician, mom and wife

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