Goal: To promote the responsible use of antibiotics by encouraging judicious prescribing among physicians and appropriate use among patients.
Background: Antibiotic resistance is a public health problem in which bacteria develop resistance to antibiotics. Contributing to this problem are the inappropriate uses of antibiotics in cases where:  antibiotics are prescribed for viral infections and not bacterial infections;  people stop taking antibiotics as soon as they start to feel better, which allows the hardiest bacteria to survive and reproduce; and  leftover antibiotic pills are often shared by family members that are not the right type or are not needed.
- Antibiotics are widely used inappropriately. Resistant bacteria emerge from improper use of antibiotics.
- Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections. Donít expect antibiotics to be prescribed every time you or your child get sick. Many illnesses are viral and will not be stopped by antibiotic treatment. Antibiotics should not be taken for viral infections such as the cold and flu.
- Antibiotics should be taken only when recommended by a physician. Donít take leftover antibiotics from a previous prescription without your doctorís permission.
- If your doctor prescribes antibiotics, take all the medication as directed.
Back to Preventing and Controlling Antibiotic Resistance