5 Ways to Tell If You Need an Antibiotic

Physicians often use a combination of experience and science when deciding to dole out an antibiotic. Here are five things most doctors take into consideration when making that decision.
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An inexact science

by Amanda Gardner

Doctors consider some guidelines when mulling the antibiotic question, although it's still a gray area. It’s difficult to distinguish a severe viral infection from a mild-to-moderate bacterial infection based on symptoms alone.

So physicians often use their spider senses—a combination of experience and science—when deciding to dole out an antibiotic.

Read more on why it can be hard to tell if you need an antibiotic here.

Here are five things most doctors take into consideration when making that decision.

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