So, when exactly do you need to take antibiotics? This can be a confusing topic for some patients. Doctors ask a series of questions to determine whether you need an antibiotic or not. Doctors take a couple of things into consideration including:
Fever: If you have a fever that can be an indication that you have a bacterial infection. Fever is also a symptom of the flu so physicians will weigh your likeliness of having the flu and decide if they should prescribe a prescription for you. If you do have the flu you will not need an antibiotic.
How long you have been sick for: If you have a viral infection for a long period of time, the infection can morph into something larger. If the infection becomes a sinus infection you may need an antibiotic depending on what your doctor decides.
The color of your nasal secretions: Although this may sound disturbing, but the color of your mucus can indicate if you have bacteria in your system or not. Green or yellow mucus can mean that you have an infection.
Sore throat: There is a difference between having a sore throat from a cold and having a sore throat from a bacterial infection. Doctors will look for white spots in the throat to determine if there are bacteria present.
You need a test done to know for sure that you have strep throat.
Testing: A lab test is the only concrete way to determine if you need an antibiotic.
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