Antibiotics are a drug used to treat some types of bacterial infection, but they don’t work for everything.
There can be confusion when a doctor does not want to prescribe you antibiotics.
Whilst they are very useful for infections which are likely to clear up on their own, such as a chest, ear or throat infection, doctors can be reluctant to prescribe them for all types of infections. This is because the infections can become antibiotic resistant if the antibiotics are overused by the population. These resistant bacteria are then much harder to treat and can become life threatening.
When are antibiotics needed?
- When the infection is unlikely to go away without antibiotics.
- You are at high risk of infecting others.
- It might take too long to clear without the assistance of antibiotics.
- You have a medical condition which might mean the infection poses a greater risk of complications.