Antibiotics: Part of the cure or part of the problem?

Avoid taking these drugs when they're not needed.


Image: © grThirteen/Thinkstock

It's the time of year again for sneezing, sniffling, and sore throats. But if you don't escape it, you can just head to the doctor for an antibiotic, and you'll be healthy again in no time. Right?

Probably not.

"Each year millions of Americans are treated with antibiotics when they don't need to be," says Dr. Erica Shenoy, an infectious disease physician, who is associate chief of the Infection Control Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital and assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.

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