An antibiotic is a type of antimicrobial substance active against bacteria. It is the most important type of antibacterial agent for fighting bacterial infections, and antibiotic medications are widely used in the treatment and prevention of such infections. They may either kill or inhibit the growth of bacteria.
Antibiotics are powerful drugs that are used to fight infections. Your healthcare team thinks you or your loved one might have an infection that can be treated with an antibiotic. Not all infections are treated with antibiotics. While antibiotics may be effective against infections caused by bacteria (germs), they are not effective against viruses.
Like all drugs, antibiotics can have side effects and should be used only when necessary. Taking an antibiotic you don’t need can even be harmful. Because of this, there are important things to know about antibiotics.