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Antibiotics Explained

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Updated January 22, 2012

Definition: Antibiotics are a classification of drugs that are used to treat the growth of bacteria in or on the body. Bacteria are the cause of infection, so antibiotics are used to prevent infection, or to treat an infection one it occurs. In the case of surgery, antibiotics may be given prior to the procedure to prevent an infection after it is complete.

Antibiotics are given in a variety of forms, including orally (by mouth) and intravenously (per IV). They are not effective against viruses, and should not be taken for viral illnesses, such as the flu.

Antibiotic resistance happens when a type of bacteria becomes immune to the effects of antibiotics.

Pronunciation: Anti-Buy-Ott-Ick
Alternate Spellings: antibacterial
Common Misspellings: anti biotic, antbiotic, antibiotik, anti-biotic, antibyotic,
Examples:
Antibiotics were prescribed after the surgical incision became infected.
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