Antibiotics are used to treat infections caused by bacteria, such as:
Antibiotics won't treat viruses or other types of infections that are not caused by bacteria. For example, they will not treat colds, flu, or most coughs and bronchitis. If a virus is making you sick, taking antibiotic medicine may do more harm than good. Never take antibiotics without a prescription.
Antibiotic medicines are sometimes given to prevent infection. Antibiotics come in different forms, such as liquids, pills, shots, drops, ointments, and gels. Some antibiotics need to be given through an IV either in the hospital or at home.
Antibiotics treat infections by killing bacteria or stopping their growth. Once bacterial growth is stopped, the body's normal defenses can usually kill the bacteria.
There are many types of antibiotics. Each works a little differently. Some are for specific types of bacteria. Your child’s healthcare provider will prescribe the antibiotic that is best for your child’s infection. Your child may need more than 1 type of antibiotic for some infections.
If you have any questions, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist for more information. Be sure to keep all appointments for provider visits or tests.