You'd be surprised.
Antibiotics only fight infections caused by bacteria. So that means most of the time, the common cold or a nasty cough can not be treated with antibiotics. Like all drugs, they can be harmful and should only be used when necessary. Taking antibiotics when you have a virus (like the common cold, or the flu) can do more harm than good: you will still feel sick and the antibiotic could give you a skin rash, diarrhea, a yeast infection, or worse. Antibiotics also give bacteria a chance to become more resistant to them. This can make future infections harder to treat. It means that antibiotics might not work when you really do need them.
So, when do you need antibiotics?
Your health is important to us. As your healthcare providers, we promise to provide the best possible treatment for your condition. If an antibiotic is not needed, we will explain this to you and will offer a treatment plan that will help. We are dedicated to prescribing antibiotics only when they are needed, and we will avoid giving you antibiotics when they might do more harm than good.