Before antibiotics became available in the 1940s, not much could be done to cure life-threatening bacterial infections. However, antibiotics have now been so successful in treating these infections that many patients automatically expect a prescription for antibiotics whenever they are sick. Unfortunately, frequent and inappropriate use of antibiotics leads to the emergence of strains of bacteria that sometimes resist treatment. This is called bacterial resistance. Curbing antibiotic overuse and/or misuse is more important now than ever before. It is reported that resistance to antibiotics is growing faster than new drugs can be developed. Antibiotics only kill bacteria. They do not kill viruses that cause colds and flu. In addition, not all antibiotics work for every type of bacteria. There are several ways to be certain that you are taking antibiotics appropriately. Never use antibiotics left over from a previous prescription. Never take someone else's antibiotic prescription. If you take antibiotics, be sure to take all the pills prescribed, even if you feel better before they are gone. It is important to kill off the last remaining bacteria because they tend to be the most drug-resistant. When you use antibiotics appropriately, you do the best for you health, you family's health, and the health of those around you.