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Home > Patient & Family Resources > Health Library > Antibiotics
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Make sure you know about each of the medicines you take. This includes why you take it, how to take it, what you can expect while you're taking it, and any warnings about the medicine.
The information provided here is general. So be sure to read the information that came with your medicine. If you have any questions or concerns, talk to your pharmacist or doctor.
Antibiotics are drugs used to kill bacteria. Bacteria can cause infections such as strep throat, ear infections, and pneumonia.
These medicines can't cure everything. They don't kill viruses or help with allergies. And they don't help illnesses such as the common cold, the flu, or a runny nose.
Antibiotics are generally safe and very effective at fighting bacterial infections.
Here are some examples of antibiotics. For each item in the list, the generic name is first, followed by any brand names.
This is not a complete list of antibiotics.
Some people get diarrhea, nausea, or a yeast infection when they take antibiotics.
General information about side effects
All medicines can cause side effects. Many people don't have side effects. And minor side effects sometimes go away after a while.
But sometimes side effects can be a problem or can be serious.
If you're having problems with side effects, talk to your doctor. He or she may be able to lower your dose or change to a different medicine.
Always be sure you get specific information on the medicine you're taking. For a full list of side effects, check the information that came with the medicine you're using. If you have questions, talk to your pharmacist or doctor.
Cautions for antibiotics include the following:
Cautions for all medicines
Always tell your doctor or pharmacist about all the medicines you take. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, herbs, and supplements. That information will help prevent serious problems.
Always be sure you get specific information on the medicine you're taking. For a full list of warnings, check the information that came with the medicine you're using. If you have questions, talk to your pharmacist or doctor.
Current as of:
February 11, 2020
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Adam Husney MD - Family MedicineKathleen Romito MD - Family MedicineElizabeth T. Russo MD - Internal Medicine
Current as of: February 11, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Elizabeth T. Russo MD - Internal Medicine
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