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Antibiotic resistance happens when bacteria change to protect themselves from an antibiotic. They are then no longer sensitive to that antibiotic. When this happens, antibiotics that previously would have killed the bacteria, or stopped them from multiplying, no longer work.
What causes antibiotic resistance?
The more antibiotics are used, the more chances bacteria have to become resistant to them. Major causes of antibiotic resistance include:
How does antibiotic resistance affect me?
Using antibiotics when you don't need them may mean that they won't work for you when you do need them in the future.
If you have an antibiotic-resistant bacterial infection:
Many people think that antibiotics can cure a cold or flu and will help to shorten their illness. This is not true, because most respiratory tract infections are caused by viruses, so antibiotics won't have any effect.