If you’re suffering from a cold, the flu, or another virus, there are things you can do to help relieve the symptoms , but taking antibiotics will not help. Antibiotics only treat bacterial infections, such as strep throat. Antibiotic resistance is a serious public health problem that is primarily being caused by the repeated and improper use of antibiotics. You can help prevent antibiotic resistance by taking these actions: Don’t take antibiotics for viral infections, such as colds or the flu. If you are prescribed antibiotics for a bacterial infection, take the full course of treatment even if you begin to feel better after a few days. If you need to stop taking a course of antibiotics for some reason, discard leftover medication —do not save it for a future illness. Do not take antibiotics prescribed for someone else. If your healthcare provider determines that you do not have a bacterial infection, ask about ways to relieve your symptoms. Don’t pressure your provider to prescribe antibiotics.
Don’t Use Antibiotics to Treat Colds or the Flu