Monday, June 06, 2011

Antibiotics are among the most frequently prescribed medications in modern medicine. Antibiotics cure disease by killing or injuring bacteria. Dr. Edward Hill discusses antibiotics in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Antibiotics are medicines that can fight or prevent some infections. Infections are caused by two types of germsbacteria and viruses.

You need antibiotics to stop an infection caused by bacteria, such as strep throat bacteria, pneumonia and some sinus and ear infections.

Antibiotics do not work against infections caused by a virus. Most coughs, colds and sore throats are caused by a virus. When you have a virus, ask your doctor what you can do to feel better.

Antibiotics kill off the weaker germs the first few times you take them. At first you will start to feel better. However, the stronger germs are still alive. If you stop taking these medicines too soon, the stronger germs can keep growing. If you do this, soon the antibiotic wont work anymore. You may need to be treated with a stronger or different antibiotic if you have a resistant germ.

Use antibiotics only when your doctor prescribes them. Dont share these medicines with anyone else. Take your antibiotics exactly as your doctor tells you to.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.