Knowing When To Take Antibiotics - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Knowing When To Take Antibiotics

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It's that time of year again, when you or a family member, or even someone you work with is coughing or sneezing due to a winter cold.

Sanford Family Medicine Doctor Jennifer Beckwith, says generally 85 to 90 percent of the common cold symptoms are actually caused by a virus, which is not treated with an antibiotic.

There are plenty of over the counter medications for common colds, but Beckwith says sometimes patients will get frustrated when their doctor doesn't prescribe an antibiotic for their cold or illness.

Sometimes prescribing an antibiotic when not needed can do more harm than good.

"I just think it's really important that people know for most of the time common colds are viruses and using an antibiotic, we can create antibiotic resistants, we can create side effects from the antibiotic so there are definitely risks in taking an antibiotic when you don't need it," Sanford Family Medicine Doctor, Jennifer Beckwith said.

Beckwith says if you ARE given an antibiotic it's important to completely finish the prescription EVEN if you start to feel better.

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