Antibiotics are medicines that help stop bacterial infections. Protect yourself and your family by taking them correctly. There are times when you should and when you should not take antibiotics.
Last updated: 01 August 2005
What are the main types of germs that cause infections?
Viruses and bacteria are the two main types of germs that cause infection.
Antibiotics cannot kill viruses but can kill bacteria. Viral infections should not be treated with antibiotics.
Viral illnesses include:
Bacterial infections should be treated with antibiotics. Bacterial infections can include:
What should I ask my doctor if I am prescribed antibiotics?
If your doctor prescribes antibiotics, you should ask the following questions:
How do I take antibiotics correctly?
Hand cleaning is very important. Wash your hands after you use the bathroom, before you touch food and after you sneeze or cough.
Can antibiotics be harmful?
Antibiotics are generally safe and very helpful in fighting disease but there are certain cases where antibiotics can actually be harmful. These are some things to watch for while taking antibiotics:
|Further information - Public Health Units in NSW|
|For more information please contact your doctor, local public health unit or community health centre - look under NSW Government at the front of the White Pages|
|Metropolitan Areas||Location||Number||Rural Areas||Location||Number|
|Northern Sydney||Hornsby||02 9477 9400||Greater Southern||Goulburn||02 4824 1837|
|Central Coast||Gosford||02 4349 4845||Albury||02 6080 8900|
|South Eastern Sydney||Randwick||02 9382 8333||Greater Western||Broken Hill||08 8080 1499|
|Illawarra Shoalhaven||Wollongong||02 4221 6700||Dubbo||02 6841 5569|
|Sydney South West||Camperdown||02 9515 9420||Bathurst||02 6339 5601|
|Sydney West||Penrith||02 4734 2022||Hunter/New England||Newcastle||02 4924 6477|
|Parramatta||02 9840 3603||Tamworth||02 6764 8000|
|Justice Health Service||Matraville||02 9311 2707||North Coast||Port Macquarie||02 6588 2750|
|Lismore||02 6620 7585|