What are the risks of taking antibiotics when they aren’t needed?

Taking antibiotics when they aren’t needed is risky because it can cause antibiotic resistance.

Antibiotic resistance means the antibiotics no longer work against the bacteria, and it is usually caused by antibiotics being used too often or not correctly, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP).

To avoid antibiotic resistance, it is important to understand that antibiotics are not necessary for every illness, according to the AAFP. Antibiotics do nothing for viral illnesses, such as colds or the flu, and it is better just to fight through those types of sicknesses with rest and fluids.

Another risk of taking antibiotics you don’t need is the general side effects from or allergies to the medication, according to the AAFP.

For more information about the risks of taking antibiotics that aren’t needed, talk with your doctor.

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