Antibiotics: When Do They Help?


Antibiotics are strong medicines that have saved many lives. These drugs do not kill viruses. They only work on bacteria. If antibiotics are overused it can cause antibiotic resistance. This is when the germs are no longer killed by the drug. That’s why medical professionals only prescribe an antibiotic if you, or your child, really needs one.

Viruses cause:

  • 80% of sore throats
  • 90% of pneumonia (most cases in children are caused by a virus)
  • 95% of fevers
  • 95% of new coughs (asthma can also start with a cough)
  • 99% of diarrhea and vomiting
  • Most common colds

Most ear and sinus infections What you can do to help:

  • Save antibiotics for bacterial infections when you really need them.
  • Don’t pressure your doctor into prescribing an antibiotic.
  • Treat cold and cough symptoms with home treatment remedies.
  • Keep in mind that a fever is fighting the infection. It also boosts the immune system to prevent future infections.
  • Give it time. Typical cold symptoms usually go away in four to 10 days without any special medications.

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