Do I Need Antibiotics?

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Antibiotics can be a highly effective treatment for infections if used correctly. But do you know when you should be taking this drug?

What Does It Treat?

Because the effectiveness of antibiotics depends on your specific medical condition, determining what type of infection you have is the first step.  

Antibiotics are only effective on bacterial infections and will not work on viral infections. Examples of bacterial infections that antibiotics are used to treat include urinary tract infections (UTI’s), staph infection, sinusitis, strep throat, STD’s, pneumonia, and even acne. An antibiotic will not treat viruses such as colds, bronchitis, the flu, athlete’s foot, or mono. 

There are time frames to be aware of when self-diagnosing your type of infection. Our blog post from April 2018 goes into further detail:

If you’re sick for less than 10 days and aren’t getting worse, the infection is probably viral. If you’re not improving at all within 10 days of getting sick, it’s most likely caused by bacteria. It’s important to know the difference because treatments differ. For example, antibiotics are effective with bacterial infections but not with viruses. Viral sinusitis may be treated using pain relievers, steroid nasal sprays, or saltwater nasal irrigation.

Be Wary of Antibiotic Resistance

It’s important to be honest with your healthcare professional about your medical history with antibiotics, and only use the drug when prescribed. The more often antibiotics are used, the higher the risk of side effects and antibiotic resistance.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 

Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria develop the ability to defeat the drugs designed to kill them. Each year in the United States, at least 2 million people get infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and at least 23,000 people die as a result.

Still confused? Drugs.com has information on each type of antibiotic, popular brand names, and a top 10 list of common infections treated with antibiotics.

Visit Patient Plus

Patient Plus Urgent Care’s clinics treat various infections that might require an antibiotic prescription. To skip the lines and get better even faster, check-in online for your appointment at PatientPlusUC.com.


Patient Plus Urgent Care – Get in, Get better.

When you’re sick or injured, whether routine or urgent, quality medical care should be easy to find and available when you need it. That’s the idea behind Patient Plus Urgent Care, with convenient locations in Mid City, Bocage, Southdowns, and Delmont.

Patient Plus treats most common illnesses and injuries — the sniffles, rashes, fevers, aches, breaks and other conditions that deserve prompt treatment, but aren’t serious enough to require a trip to the nearest emergency room. The clinics provide complete diagnostic services, including X-rays, EKGs and flu and strep tests. Other services include physicals, vaccinations and more. Patient Plus clinics are open every day from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and patients never need to call first or make an appointment.