Patient Education

Get Smart About Antibiotics!

Antibiotics are the drugs your doctor prescribes to treat infections caused by bacteria. Since the 1940s, they have been "the first line of defense" in treating bacterial infections. Yet, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that more than half of all antibiotics prescribed are not necessary.

Antibiotics are not effective against viruses and therefore should not be used to treat them. Common examples of infections caused by viruses include colds and flu.  

Overuse and inappropriate use of antibiotics can make them not work when you need them because bacteria develop resistance to them. This resistance causes the bacteria to thrive and potentially cause more harm.

Learn more about the effective use of antibiotics here.