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Health Tip: Understanding Antibiotic Resistance

What you can do to help prevent it

(HealthDay News) -- Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria mutate and make certain medications ineffective in preventing bacterial infections.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services offers these suggestions for preventing antibiotic-resistant infections:

  • Talk to your doctor about whether you actually need an antibiotic to treat a particular illness.
  • Don't take antibiotics when they are not helpful. For example, antibiotics will not treat infections caused by viruses, including the common cold and the flu.
  • Always take antibiotics as prescribed by your doctor. Don't skip any dose, and don't stop taking them early, even if you feel better.
  • Never "save" antibiotics to take later. Never re-use them for a different illness.
  • Never take an antibiotic that was prescribed to another person.
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