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    Antibiotics

    Antibiotics

    Antibiotics are medicines used to kill bacteria that cause infections.

    A doctor will choose an antibiotic to treat an illness based on:

    • Whether taking an antibiotic will reduce the length or severity of the illness.
    • Whether the person is allergic to any antibiotics.
    • How likely it is that a certain antibiotic will kill the bacteria believed to be causing the symptoms.
    • The symptoms and the severity of the illness.
    • Other medical problems that the person has.
    • The person's age. (For example, some antibiotics are not safe for children.)
    • Whether a woman is pregnant.

    Last Revised: March 10, 2013

    Author: Healthwise Staff

    Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Theresa O'Young, PharmD - Clinical Pharmacy

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