Antibiotic Resistance - Resources for You and Your Family

Colds and influenza are caused by viruses.  Taking antibiotics when you have a virus may do more harm than good.  Learn when antibiotics are appropriate. 

Dangers of antibiotic resistance

Antibiotic resistance is one of the world's most pressing public health problems. Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria change in some way that reduces or eliminates the effectiveness of drugs, chemicals, or other agents designed to cure or prevent infections. Widespread inappropriate use of antibiotics is fueling an increase in antibiotic-resistant bacteria. So the next time you really need an antibiotic for a bacterial infection, it may not work.

Antibiotics are not for colds or influenzae

Taking antibiotics for viral infections - such as a cold, cough, the flu, and acute bronchitis -

  • Will not cure the infection
  • Will not keep other individuals from catching the illness
  • Will not help a person feel better
  • May cause an unnecessary harmful side effect

DO'S and DON'TS of antibiotics

  • DO take the antibiotic exactly as indicated on the container
  • DO finish the prescription even if you begin to feel better
  • DON'T demand antibiotics when your health care provider says they are not needed
  • DON'T skip doses
  • DON'T share the prescription with anyone else
  • DON'T save the prescription for a later time

Fact Sheets

Hojas de información

Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)

Vancomycin Resistant Enterococci (VRE)

Group A Streptococcus

Haemophilus Influenzae Tybe b (Hib)