Do I Need Antibiotics?

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Do you wait out a sickness or go to the doctor’s for antibiotics?  Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections, not viral or fungal infections.  Antibiotics often have side effects, so it’s smart to know when they are absolutely necessary. 

Below is a list of common conditions and the recommended treatment:

Colds and Flu

These are viruses, so it’s best to manage the symptoms with OTC medications such as Tamiflu because antibiotics won’t help.  However, if the condition persists past 2 weeks, it may turn into a bacterial sinus infection or pneumonia which may require antibiotics.

Sinus Infections

Usually sinus infections self-resolve within 1-2 weeks.  However, if symptoms continue past 10 days, it is a good idea to ask your doctor to see if an antibiotic could help.

Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)

Antibiotics!  If left untreated, it can spread to other parts of the urinary tract such as bladder or kidneys.

Sore Throat vs. Strep

Sore throats from a cold or flu do not need antibiotics.  Strep throat is bacterial and your doctor may prescribe antibiotics.


This is viral so antibiotics are usually not needed.

Ear Infections

The CDC recommends that only middle ear infections that are severe or last longer than 2 to 3 days be treated with antibiotics.

Antibiotic Overuse

One of the biggest health issues as a result of antibiotic overuse is the development of bacterial resistance – this means that if you get sick again, your body will resist the medication.  It is the policy of the Marque Medical physicians and providers to not prescribe antibiotics in the first seven days of an acute viral illness unless there is an appropriate indication. We do this to protect your long-term health. The provider may, at their discretion, prescribe an antibiotic to be used later if you have not improved.

Questions?  We are here for you! 1-877-MY DOC NOW (1-877-693-6266)

Save time, book your appointment online HERE

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.

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