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Q: How Do I Take Antibiotics Safely and Effectively?

A: Do not demand that your doctor give you antibiotics to treat a viral infection. Antibiotics kill bacteria, not viruses. Take all of your prescribed antibiotic, even if you start to feel better. Do not save some of your antibiotic for the next time you get sick. Do not take an antibiotic that has been prescribed for someone else. Don’t let anyone take your antibiotic, even if the symptoms are the same. Keep a written record of each time antibiotics are taken, including the name, strength, how often and how long the antibiotic was taken and any side effects experienced. Share this information with your doctor each time antibiotics are prescribed in order to assist your doctor in determining which antibiotic is best for you. Ask your doctor or pharmacist what to do if you should forget or miss a dose.

Source: Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology


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