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What types of infections can not be treated with antibiotics?

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Only bacterial infections can be killed with antibiotics. The common cold, flu, most coughs, some bronchitis infections, most sore throats, and the stomach flu are all caused by viruses, not bacteria.

It’s not always obvious whether an infection is viral or bacterial. Sometimes your doctor will do tests before deciding which treatment you need.

Some antibiotics work on many different kinds of bacteria. They’re called “broad-spectrum.” Others target specific bacteria only. They’re known as “narrow-spectrum.”

From: What Are Antibiotics? WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

American Academy of Pediatrics: “The History of Antibiotics.”

Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology: “Antibiotic Safety.”

NHS Choices: “Antibiotics.”

Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics: “When and How to Take Antibiotics.”

CDC: “Antibiotics Aren’t Always the Answer.”

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on February 05, 2017

SOURCES:

American Academy of Pediatrics: “The History of Antibiotics.”

Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology: “Antibiotic Safety.”

NHS Choices: “Antibiotics.”

Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics: “When and How to Take Antibiotics.”

CDC: “Antibiotics Aren’t Always the Answer.”

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on February 05, 2017

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What are side effects of antibiotics?

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