Most upper respiratory illnesses, including colds, influenza, and croup, are caused by viruses.   Antibiotics are NOT generally helpful for these types of illnesses.  They will not cure a viral infection or help you feel better.  Inappropriate use of antibiotics may be harmful.  Every time a person takes antibiotics, sensitive bacteria are killed, but germs resistant to the antibiotic will grow and can take over.  Taking antibiotics when they are not needed increases your risk of getting an infection that is resistant to the antibiotics that you have previously used.  When antibiotics fail to work, the consequences can include longer-lasting illnesses, hospitalization, the need for more expensive and toxic medicines, and sometimes even death.   

It is estimated by the CDC (US Center for Disease Control) that 250 MILLION prescriptions for antibiotics are filled each year in the United States, or about 80 prescriptions/1,000 people. accessed 10/21/21.   CDC estimates that up to ¼ of these prescriptions are not necessary.  Working together with your healthcare provider, we can decrease the amount of antibiotics that we use locally, to ensure they work on true bacterial infections when they are needed.  

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