Antibiotics are powerful medicines that fight bacterial infections. Used properly, antibiotics can save lives. They either kill bacteria or keep them from reproducing. If a virus is making you sick, taking antibiotics may do more harm than good. This happens when bacteria change and become able to resist the effects of an antibiotic.
When you take antibiotics, follow the directions carefully. It is important to finish your medicine even if you feel better. If you stop treatment too soon, some bacteria may survive and re-infect you, antibiotics and virus.
On this page Basics Summary Start Here. Learn More Related Issues. Research Clinical Trials Journal Articles. Resources Antibiotics and virus Desk Find an Expert. Antibiotics do not fight infections caused by viruses, such as Colds Flu Most coughs and bronchitis Sore throats, unless caused by strep If a virus is making you sick, taking antibiotics may do more harm than good, antibiotics and virus.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Screening for Syphilis Infection in Pregnant Women: Antibiotics -- arthritis and rheumatism gide more articles Prophylactic use of antibiotics -- see more articles. Glossary Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics. Special Concerns for Seniors: Clostridium difficile Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics. Central venous catheters - ports Medical Encyclopedia Also in Spanish.