Antibiotics are medicines that are used to treat infections caused by bacteria. They do not work against viral infections, such as colds or flu, or fungal infections, such as thrush. Antibiotics are available as tablets, capsules, liquids, and creams. Different antibiotics are prescribed to patients depending on the site of infection and also depending on the particular type of bacteria that your doctor thinks is causing the infection. Common bacterial infections that may require a prescription for antibiotics include chest, tonsils, ears, bladder (urine) and skin infections.
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Antibiotics work in different ways, some work by killing the bacteria, others by preventing bacteria from multiplying. This means each antibiotic is effective only against certain bacteria. Infections in different part of the body are caused by different bacteria. That is why your doctor gives you different antibiotics for a urine versus a chest infection. Other factors which could affect the antibiotics choice include; severity of the infection, other medications you may be taking, allergy to a certain type of antibiotic, kidney and liver problems as well as pregnancy or breast-feeding in women.