Learning About Antibiotics

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Introduction

Antibiotics are drugs used to kill bacteria. Bacteria can cause infections. These include strep throat, ear infections, and pneumonia.

There are many types of antibiotics. Your doctor will decide which one will work best for your infection.

These medicines can't cure everything. They don't kill viruses or help with allergies. They don't help illnesses such as the common cold, the flu, or a runny nose. And they can cause side effects.

Examples

  • Amoxicillin
  • Azithromycin
  • Cephalexin
  • Ciprofloxacin (Cipro)

Possible side effects

Side effects include:

  • Nausea.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Skin rash.
  • Yeast infection.
  • A severe allergic reaction. It may cause itching, swelling, and breathing problems. This is rare.

You may have other side effects or reactions not listed here. Check the information that comes with your medicine.

What to know about taking this medicine

  • Don't take antibiotics when you don't need them. If you do that, they may not work when you do need them. Bacteria that don't die can change and become harder to kill. These bacteria can cause longer and more serious infections. To treat them, you may need different antibiotics.
  • Take your antibiotics as directed. Do not stop taking them just because you feel better. You need to take the full course of medicine. This will help make sure your infection is cured. It will also help prevent antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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Current as of: May 24, 2016