When you’re sick – or when your kid is sick – you want relief immediately. For many people, that means going to the doctor to get a prescription for antibiotics.
It may surprise you to find out that doing so is often the wrong move. In the U.S., a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that 25 per cent of the general population is under the mistaken belief that antibiotics can treat a cold.
What are antibiotics used for?
Antibiotics kill bacteria and stop bacterial infections. They will help if you have strep throat, bladder and skin infections, and some ear infections, which are all caused by bacteria. Antibiotics will not cure viral infections such as the common cold or flu.
Sometimes a lab test is needed to identify whether you have a bacterial or viral infection, says Maryse Durette of Health Canada.
“We try to avoid antibiotics when we can,” says Hoda Mankal, a nurse practitioner at the Carlington Community Health Center in Ottawa and theRead More »from When to take antibiotics... and when you should just stay home