Taking antibiotics when they are not needed is like leaving the lights on all the time...

Overusing Antibiotics Can Cause Problems such as

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea, including the kind due to C. difficile, an infection that can lead to severe symptoms
  • Rash or other allergic reactions
  • Harm your kidneys or other organs
  • Create bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics

When Are Antibiotics Not Needed?

  • When you have an infection that is caused by a virus (like a cold or the flu).
  • When you don't have an infection but instead have some other medical problem (such as anemia).
  • When bacteria are found in a urine culture from a sample you gave, but you don't have symptoms of infection.  It's normal for many people to have bacteria in their urine without having an infection.  

For More Information

Program on Aging, Disability, and Long-term Care University of NC at Chapel Hill

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