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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Drugs

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WARNING: Antibiotics don’t work for viruses like colds and the flu.

[PDF version - 1MB]

Using them for viruses will not make you feel better or get back to work faster.


Antibiotics are strong medicines. Keep them that way. Prevent antibiotic resistance.

Antibiotics don’t fight viruses – they fight bacteria. Using antibiotics for viruses can put you at risk of getting a bacterial infection that is resistant to antibiotic treatment. Talk to your doctor or other healthcare provider about antibiotics, visit www.cdc.gov/getsmart, or call 800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) to learn more.

Taking antibiotics for viral infections such as a cold, a cough, or the flu will NOT:

  • Cure the infection

  • Keep other people from catching it

  • Help you feel better
     


U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
www.cdc.gov

Food and Drug Administration
www.fda.gov