The next time you go to see your health care provider for an upper respiratory illness, a cough or cold don’t assume you’ll get a prescription for an antibiotic.
“Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections, such as pneumonia, and won’t help viral illnesses like colds, flu and most sore throats,” says Emily Langer, a Mayo Clinic Health System Emergency Medicine physician assistant. Clinicians should not prescribe antibiotics for patients with bronchitis. Antibiotics should be used only if patients have pneumonia.
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