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Antibiotic Resistance

Summary

Antibiotics are medicines that fight bacterial infections. Used properly, they can save lives. But there is a growing problem of antibiotic resistance. It happens when bacteria change and become able to resist the effects of an antibiotic.

Using antibiotics can lead to resistance. Each time you take antibiotics, sensitive bacteria are killed. But resistant germs may be left to grow and multiply. They can spread to other people. They can also cause infections that certain antibiotics cannot cure. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is one example. It causes infections that are resistant to several common antibiotics.

To help prevent antibiotic resistance

  • Don't use antibiotics for viruses like colds or flu. Antibiotics don't work on viruses.
  • Don't pressure your doctor to give you an antibiotic.
  • When you take antibiotics, follow the directions carefully. Finish your medicine even if you feel better. If you stop treatment too soon, some bacteria may survive and re-infect you.
  • Don't save antibiotics for later or use someone else's prescription.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Start Here

  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases)
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Diagnosis and Tests

  • (American Association for Clinical Chemistry)

Prevention and Risk Factors

  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • (Food and Drug Administration)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases)
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  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health) Also in

Treatments and Therapies

  • (Food and Drug Administration)
  • (Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics)

Related Issues

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Specifics

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  • (World Health Organization) Also in
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases)
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Images

  • Infographic (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Health Check Tools

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Videos and Tutorials

  • Video (Food and Drug Administration)

Statistics and Research

  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of General Medical Sciences)

Striking laughter

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)

Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

Reference Desk

  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • (Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics)

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  • From the National Institutes of Health

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