The Danger of Going Off Course

Q. WHY IS IT NECESSARY TO TAKE ALL

THE ANTIBIOTICS THAT THE DOCTOR

PRESCRIBES, RATHER THAN STOP WHEN THE SYMPTOMS ARE GONE?

A. There are several reasons, said Dr. Carla Boutin-Foster, an associate professor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, but a big one is to prevent antibiotic resistance.

When bacteria become resistant to an antibiotic, they are able to survive and multiply. The altered bacteria may cause serious infections that can spread rapidly to others, Dr. Boutin-Foster said, so new, potent antibiotics must be sought. Failure may mean severe illness and even death. Cont

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