How will my doctor treat my infection if one antibiotic doesn't work?


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Interventions to improve antibiotic prescribing practices for hospital inpatients (Cochrane Review)
01/18/2006

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How will my doctor treat my infection if one antibiotic doesn't work?


Doctors have to choose the most appropriate antimicrobial drug to use to treat an infection, if one is needed at all, to try to slow down the development of resistance to antimicrobials. Doctors choose an antimicrobial by know what bug/drug combinations work, i.e. which antimicrobial will work against which bug. If you are given an antibiotic for an infection but it doesn't work, it may be that your infection is not bacterial and that is why the antibiotic is not working.

If you are given antibiotics make sure that you complete the course otherwise you may not get rid of the bacteria and your symptoms may reappear. If your doctor is sure that you have a bacterial infection and that the first antibiotic has not worked, he/she may give you another antibiotic, as the bacteria causing your infection may be resistant to the first antibiotic. It is important to discuss with your doctor all aspects of your treatment so that you can be sure you are not taking an antibiotic unecessarily and that when you do take one you take it exactly as he/she recommends.


Related Resources
AWARE (Alliance Working for Antibiotic Resistance Education)
When the Antibiotics Quit Working...
Antimicrobial Resistance
Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics (APUA) Website
Antibiotics: A fading wonder
Promoting Appropriate Antibiotic Use in the Community
Antimicrobial Resistance Webpages
The Real Millennium Bugs
Antibiotic resistance factsheet for schools
Bacterial Resistance to Antibiotics
Antibiotic Resistant Germs
The Microbial Threat
The Path of Least Resistance
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Dangerous Diseases & Epidemics
Overcoming Antimicrobial Resistance
Factsheet - Antimicrobial Resistance
Resistance to Antibiotics & Other Antimicrobial Agents
The facts about Vancomycin-resistant enterococci
OMNI Resources about Antimicrobial Resistance
The Bug Investigators
Improving antibiotic prescribing is an urgent priority - how low can we go?
Interventions to improve antibiotic prescribing practices for hospital inpatients (Cochrane Review)
Interventions to improve antibiotic prescribing in ambulatory care (Cochrane Review)


Date of Posting: 10/01/2003
Date of next Review: 07/01/2005


Related Questions:
What is antimicrobial resistance?
How do Bacteria become resistant to antibiotics?
Do people become resistant to antibiotics?
Why is antimicrobial resistance a health problem?
Is antimicrobial resistance only a problem in the UK?
How can I help and when should I take antibiotics?


MeSH keywords:
Drug Resistance, Microbial; Drug Resistance, Bacterial; Antibiotics; Bacterial Infections


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