ICD-10-CM Code T36

Poisoning by, adverse effect of and underdosing of systemic antibiotics

Version 2020 Replaced Code Non-Billable Code

Not Valid for Submission

T36 is a "header" nonspecific and non-billable code code, consider using a code with a higher level of specificity for a diagnosis of poisoning by, adverse effect of and underdosing of systemic antibiotics. The code is NOT valid for the year 2020 for the submission of HIPAA-covered transactions.

ICD-10:T36
Short Description:Systemic antibiotics
Long Description:Poisoning by, adverse effect of and underdosing of systemic antibiotics

Consider the following ICD-10 codes with a higher level of specificity:

  • T36.0 - Poisoning by, adverse effect of and underdosing of penicillins
  • T36.0X - Poisoning by, adverse effect of and underdosing of penicillins
  • T36.0X1 - Poisoning by penicillins, accidental (unintentional)
  • T36.0X1A - Poisoning by penicillins, accidental (unintentional), initial encounter
  • T36.0X1D - Poisoning by penicillins, accidental (unintentional), subsequent encounter
  • T36.0X1S - Poisoning by penicillins, accidental (unintentional), sequela
  • T36.0X2 - Poisoning by penicillins, intentional self-harm
  • T36.0X2A - Poisoning by penicillins, intentional self-harm, initial encounter
  • T36.0X2D - Poisoning by penicillins, intentional self-harm, subsequent encounter
  • T36.0X2S - Poisoning by penicillins, intentional self-harm, sequela
  • T36.0X3 - Poisoning by penicillins, assault
  • T36.0X3A - Poisoning by penicillins, assault, initial encounter
  • T36.0X3D - Poisoning by penicillins, assault, subsequent encounter
  • T36.0X3S - Poisoning by penicillins, assault, sequela
  • T36.0X4 - Poisoning by penicillins, undetermined
  • T36.0X4A - Poisoning by penicillins, undetermined, initial encounter
  • T36.0X4D - Poisoning by penicillins, undetermined, subsequent encounter
  • T36.0X4S - Poisoning by penicillins, undetermined, sequela
  • T36.0X5 - Adverse effect of penicillins
  • T36.0X5A - Adverse effect of penicillins, initial encounter
  • T36.0X5D - Adverse effect of penicillins, subsequent encounter
  • T36.0X5S - Adverse effect of penicillins, sequela
  • T36.0X6 - Underdosing of penicillins
  • T36.0X6A - Underdosing of penicillins, initial encounter
  • T36.0X6D - Underdosing of penicillins, subsequent encounter
  • T36.0X6S - Underdosing of penicillins, sequela
  • T36.1 - Poisoning by, adverse effect of and underdosing of cephalosporins and other beta-lactam antibiotics
  • T36.1X - Poisoning by, adverse effect of and underdosing of cephalosporins and other beta-lactam antibiotics
  • T36.1X1 - Poisoning by cephalosporins and other beta-lactam antibiotics, accidental (unintentional)
  • T36.1X1A - Poisoning by cephalosporins and other beta-lactam antibiotics, accidental (unintentional), initial encounter
  • T36.1X1D - Poisoning by cephalosporins and other beta-lactam antibiotics, accidental (unintentional), subsequent encounter
  • T36.1X1S - Poisoning by cephalosporins and other beta-lactam antibiotics, accidental (unintentional), sequela
  • T36.1X2 - Poisoning by cephalosporins and other beta-lactam antibiotics, intentional self-harm
  • T36.1X2A - Poisoning by cephalosporins and other beta-lactam antibiotics, intentional self-harm, initial encounter
  • T36.1X2D - Poisoning by cephalosporins and other beta-lactam antibiotics, intentional self-harm, subsequent encounter
  • T36.1X2S - Poisoning by cephalosporins and other beta-lactam antibiotics, intentional self-harm, sequela
  • T36.1X3 - Poisoning by cephalosporins and other beta-lactam antibiotics, assault
  • T36.1X3A - Poisoning by cephalosporins and other beta-lactam antibiotics, assault, initial encounter
  • T36.1X3D - Poisoning by cephalosporins and other beta-lactam antibiotics, assault, subsequent encounter
  • T36.1X3S - Poisoning by cephalosporins and other beta-lactam antibiotics, assault, sequela
  • T36.1X4 - Poisoning by cephalosporins and other beta-lactam antibiotics, undetermined
  • T36.1X4A - Poisoning by cephalosporins and other beta-lactam antibiotics, undetermined, initial encounter
  • T36.1X4D - Poisoning by cephalosporins and other beta-lactam antibiotics, undetermined, subsequent encounter
  • T36.1X4S - Poisoning by cephalosporins and other beta-lactam antibiotics, undetermined, sequela
  • T36.1X5 - Adverse effect of cephalosporins and other beta-lactam antibiotics
  • T36.1X5A - Adverse effect of cephalosporins and other beta-lactam antibiotics, initial encounter
  • T36.1X5D - Adverse effect of cephalosporins and other beta-lactam antibiotics, subsequent encounter
  • T36.1X5S - Adverse effect of cephalosporins and other beta-lactam antibiotics, sequela
  • T36.1X6 - Underdosing of cephalosporins and other beta-lactam antibiotics
  • T36.1X6A - Underdosing of cephalosporins and other beta-lactam antibiotics, initial encounter
  • T36.1X6D - Underdosing of cephalosporins and other beta-lactam antibiotics, subsequent encounter
  • T36.1X6S - Underdosing of cephalosporins and other beta-lactam antibiotics, sequela
  • T36.2 - Poisoning by, adverse effect of and underdosing of chloramphenicol group
  • T36.2X - Poisoning by, adverse effect of and underdosing of chloramphenicol group
  • T36.2X1 - Poisoning by chloramphenicol group, accidental (unintentional)
  • T36.2X1A - Poisoning by chloramphenicol group, accidental (unintentional), initial encounter
  • T36.2X1D - Poisoning by chloramphenicol group, accidental (unintentional), subsequent encounter
  • T36.2X1S - Poisoning by chloramphenicol group, accidental (unintentional), sequela
  • T36.2X2 - Poisoning by chloramphenicol group, intentional self-harm
  • T36.2X2A - Poisoning by chloramphenicol group, intentional self-harm, initial encounter
  • T36.2X2D - Poisoning by chloramphenicol group, intentional self-harm, subsequent encounter
  • T36.2X2S - Poisoning by chloramphenicol group, intentional self-harm, sequela
  • T36.2X3 - Poisoning by chloramphenicol group, assault
  • T36.2X3A - Poisoning by chloramphenicol group, assault, initial encounter
  • T36.2X3D - Poisoning by chloramphenicol group, assault, subsequent encounter
  • T36.2X3S - Poisoning by chloramphenicol group, assault, sequela
  • T36.2X4 - Poisoning by chloramphenicol group, undetermined
  • T36.2X4A - Poisoning by chloramphenicol group, undetermined, initial encounter
  • T36.2X4D - Poisoning by chloramphenicol group, undetermined, subsequent encounter
  • T36.2X4S - Poisoning by chloramphenicol group, undetermined, sequela
  • T36.2X5 - Adverse effect of chloramphenicol group
  • T36.2X5A - Adverse effect of chloramphenicol group, initial encounter
  • T36.2X5D - Adverse effect of chloramphenicol group, subsequent encounter
  • T36.2X5S - Adverse effect of chloramphenicol group, sequela
  • T36.2X6 - Underdosing of chloramphenicol group
  • T36.2X6A - Underdosing of chloramphenicol group, initial encounter
  • T36.2X6D - Underdosing of chloramphenicol group, subsequent encounter
  • T36.2X6S - Underdosing of chloramphenicol group, sequela
  • T36.3 - Poisoning by, adverse effect of and underdosing of macrolides
  • T36.3X - Poisoning by, adverse effect of and underdosing of macrolides
  • T36.3X1 - Poisoning by macrolides, accidental (unintentional)
  • T36.3X1A - Poisoning by macrolides, accidental (unintentional), initial encounter
  • T36.3X1D - Poisoning by macrolides, accidental (unintentional), subsequent encounter
  • T36.3X1S - Poisoning by macrolides, accidental (unintentional), sequela
  • T36.3X2 - Poisoning by macrolides, intentional self-harm
  • T36.3X2A - Poisoning by macrolides, intentional self-harm, initial encounter
  • T36.3X2D - Poisoning by macrolides, intentional self-harm, subsequent encounter
  • T36.3X2S - Poisoning by macrolides, intentional self-harm, sequela
  • T36.3X3 - Poisoning by macrolides, assault
  • T36.3X3A - Poisoning by macrolides, assault, initial encounter
  • T36.3X3D - Poisoning by macrolides, assault, subsequent encounter
  • T36.3X3S - Poisoning by macrolides, assault, sequela
  • T36.3X4 - Poisoning by macrolides, undetermined
  • T36.3X4A - Poisoning by macrolides, undetermined, initial encounter
  • T36.3X4D - Poisoning by macrolides, undetermined, subsequent encounter
  • T36.3X4S - Poisoning by macrolides, undetermined, sequela
  • T36.3X5 - Adverse effect of macrolides
  • T36.3X5A - Adverse effect of macrolides, initial encounter
  • T36.3X5D - Adverse effect of macrolides, subsequent encounter
  • T36.3X5S - Adverse effect of macrolides, sequela
  • T36.3X6 - Underdosing of macrolides
  • T36.3X6A - Underdosing of macrolides, initial encounter
  • T36.3X6D - Underdosing of macrolides, subsequent encounter
  • T36.3X6S - Underdosing of macrolides, sequela
  • T36.4 - Poisoning by, adverse effect of and underdosing of tetracyclines
  • T36.4X - Poisoning by, adverse effect of and underdosing of tetracyclines
  • T36.4X1 - Poisoning by tetracyclines, accidental (unintentional)
  • T36.4X1A - Poisoning by tetracyclines, accidental (unintentional), initial encounter
  • T36.4X1D - Poisoning by tetracyclines, accidental (unintentional), subsequent encounter
  • T36.4X1S - Poisoning by tetracyclines, accidental (unintentional), sequela
  • T36.4X2 - Poisoning by tetracyclines, intentional self-harm
  • T36.4X2A - Poisoning by tetracyclines, intentional self-harm, initial encounter
  • T36.4X2D - Poisoning by tetracyclines, intentional self-harm, subsequent encounter
  • T36.4X2S - Poisoning by tetracyclines, intentional self-harm, sequela
  • T36.4X3 - Poisoning by tetracyclines, assault
  • T36.4X3A - Poisoning by tetracyclines, assault, initial encounter
  • T36.4X3D - Poisoning by tetracyclines, assault, subsequent encounter
  • T36.4X3S - Poisoning by tetracyclines, assault, sequela
  • T36.4X4 - Poisoning by tetracyclines, undetermined
  • T36.4X4A - Poisoning by tetracyclines, undetermined, initial encounter
  • T36.4X4D - Poisoning by tetracyclines, undetermined, subsequent encounter
  • T36.4X4S - Poisoning by tetracyclines, undetermined, sequela
  • T36.4X5 - Adverse effect of tetracyclines
  • T36.4X5A - Adverse effect of tetracyclines, initial encounter
  • T36.4X5D - Adverse effect of tetracyclines, subsequent encounter
  • T36.4X5S - Adverse effect of tetracyclines, sequela
  • T36.4X6 - Underdosing of tetracyclines
  • T36.4X6A - Underdosing of tetracyclines, initial encounter
  • T36.4X6D - Underdosing of tetracyclines, subsequent encounter
  • T36.4X6S - Underdosing of tetracyclines, sequela
  • T36.5 - Poisoning by, adverse effect of and underdosing of aminoglycosides
  • T36.5X - Poisoning by, adverse effect of and underdosing of aminoglycosides
  • T36.5X1 - Poisoning by aminoglycosides, accidental (unintentional)
  • T36.5X1A - Poisoning by aminoglycosides, accidental (unintentional), initial encounter
  • T36.5X1D - Poisoning by aminoglycosides, accidental (unintentional), subsequent encounter
  • T36.5X1S - Poisoning by aminoglycosides, accidental (unintentional), sequela
  • T36.5X2 - Poisoning by aminoglycosides, intentional self-harm
  • T36.5X2A - Poisoning by aminoglycosides, intentional self-harm, initial encounter
  • T36.5X2D - Poisoning by aminoglycosides, intentional self-harm, subsequent encounter
  • T36.5X2S - Poisoning by aminoglycosides, intentional self-harm, sequela
  • T36.5X3 - Poisoning by aminoglycosides, assault
  • T36.5X3A - Poisoning by aminoglycosides, assault, initial encounter
  • T36.5X3D - Poisoning by aminoglycosides, assault, subsequent encounter
  • T36.5X3S - Poisoning by aminoglycosides, assault, sequela
  • T36.5X4 - Poisoning by aminoglycosides, undetermined
  • T36.5X4A - Poisoning by aminoglycosides, undetermined, initial encounter
  • T36.5X4D - Poisoning by aminoglycosides, undetermined, subsequent encounter
  • T36.5X4S - Poisoning by aminoglycosides, undetermined, sequela
  • T36.5X5 - Adverse effect of aminoglycosides
  • T36.5X5A - Adverse effect of aminoglycosides, initial encounter
  • T36.5X5D - Adverse effect of aminoglycosides, subsequent encounter
  • T36.5X5S - Adverse effect of aminoglycosides, sequela
  • T36.5X6 - Underdosing of aminoglycosides
  • T36.5X6A - Underdosing of aminoglycosides, initial encounter
  • T36.5X6D - Underdosing of aminoglycosides, subsequent encounter
  • T36.5X6S - Underdosing of aminoglycosides, sequela
  • T36.6 - Poisoning by, adverse effect of and underdosing of rifampicins
  • T36.6X - Poisoning by, adverse effect of and underdosing of rifampicins
  • T36.6X1 - Poisoning by rifampicins, accidental (unintentional)
  • T36.6X1A - Poisoning by rifampicins, accidental (unintentional), initial encounter
  • T36.6X1D - Poisoning by rifampicins, accidental (unintentional), subsequent encounter
  • T36.6X1S - Poisoning by rifampicins, accidental (unintentional), sequela
  • T36.6X2 - Poisoning by rifampicins, intentional self-harm
  • T36.6X2A - Poisoning by rifampicins, intentional self-harm, initial encounter
  • T36.6X2D - Poisoning by rifampicins, intentional self-harm, subsequent encounter
  • T36.6X2S - Poisoning by rifampicins, intentional self-harm, sequela
  • T36.6X3 - Poisoning by rifampicins, assault
  • T36.6X3A - Poisoning by rifampicins, assault, initial encounter
  • T36.6X3D - Poisoning by rifampicins, assault, subsequent encounter
  • T36.6X3S - Poisoning by rifampicins, assault, sequela
  • T36.6X4 - Poisoning by rifampicins, undetermined
  • T36.6X4A - Poisoning by rifampicins, undetermined, initial encounter
  • T36.6X4D - Poisoning by rifampicins, undetermined, subsequent encounter
  • T36.6X4S - Poisoning by rifampicins, undetermined, sequela
  • T36.6X5 - Adverse effect of rifampicins
  • T36.6X5A - Adverse effect of rifampicins, initial encounter
  • T36.6X5D - Adverse effect of rifampicins, subsequent encounter
  • T36.6X5S - Adverse effect of rifampicins, sequela
  • T36.6X6 - Underdosing of rifampicins
  • T36.6X6A - Underdosing of rifampicins, initial encounter
  • T36.6X6D - Underdosing of rifampicins, subsequent encounter
  • T36.6X6S - Underdosing of rifampicins, sequela
  • T36.7 - Poisoning by, adverse effect of and underdosing of antifungal antibiotics, systemically used
  • T36.7X - Poisoning by, adverse effect of and underdosing of antifungal antibiotics, systemically used
  • T36.7X1 - Poisoning by antifungal antibiotics, systemically used, accidental (unintentional)
  • T36.7X1A - Poisoning by antifungal antibiotics, systemically used, accidental (unintentional), initial encounter
  • T36.7X1D - Poisoning by antifungal antibiotics, systemically used, accidental (unintentional), subsequent encounter
  • T36.7X1S - Poisoning by antifungal antibiotics, systemically used, accidental (unintentional), sequela
  • T36.7X2 - Poisoning by antifungal antibiotics, systemically used, intentional self-harm
  • T36.7X2A - Poisoning by antifungal antibiotics, systemically used, intentional self-harm, initial encounter
  • T36.7X2D - Poisoning by antifungal antibiotics, systemically used, intentional self-harm, subsequent encounter
  • T36.7X2S - Poisoning by antifungal antibiotics, systemically used, intentional self-harm, sequela
  • T36.7X3 - Poisoning by antifungal antibiotics, systemically used, assault
  • T36.7X3A - Poisoning by antifungal antibiotics, systemically used, assault, initial encounter
  • T36.7X3D - Poisoning by antifungal antibiotics, systemically used, assault, subsequent encounter
  • T36.7X3S - Poisoning by antifungal antibiotics, systemically used, assault, sequela
  • T36.7X4 - Poisoning by antifungal antibiotics, systemically used, undetermined
  • T36.7X4A - Poisoning by antifungal antibiotics, systemically used, undetermined, initial encounter
  • T36.7X4D - Poisoning by antifungal antibiotics, systemically used, undetermined, subsequent encounter
  • T36.7X4S - Poisoning by antifungal antibiotics, systemically used, undetermined, sequela
  • T36.7X5 - Adverse effect of antifungal antibiotics, systemically used
  • T36.7X5A - Adverse effect of antifungal antibiotics, systemically used, initial encounter
  • T36.7X5D - Adverse effect of antifungal antibiotics, systemically used, subsequent encounter
  • T36.7X5S - Adverse effect of antifungal antibiotics, systemically used, sequela
  • T36.7X6 - Underdosing of antifungal antibiotics, systemically used
  • T36.7X6A - Underdosing of antifungal antibiotics, systemically used, initial encounter
  • T36.7X6D - Underdosing of antifungal antibiotics, systemically used, subsequent encounter
  • T36.7X6S - Underdosing of antifungal antibiotics, systemically used, sequela
  • T36.8 - Poisoning by, adverse effect of and underdosing of other systemic antibiotics
  • T36.8X - Poisoning by, adverse effect of and underdosing of other systemic antibiotics
  • T36.8X1 - Poisoning by other systemic antibiotics, accidental (unintentional)
  • T36.8X1A - Poisoning by other systemic antibiotics, accidental (unintentional), initial encounter
  • T36.8X1D - Poisoning by other systemic antibiotics, accidental (unintentional), subsequent encounter
  • T36.8X1S - Poisoning by other systemic antibiotics, accidental (unintentional), sequela
  • T36.8X2 - Poisoning by other systemic antibiotics, intentional self-harm
  • T36.8X2A - Poisoning by other systemic antibiotics, intentional self-harm, initial encounter
  • T36.8X2D - Poisoning by other systemic antibiotics, intentional self-harm, subsequent encounter
  • T36.8X2S - Poisoning by other systemic antibiotics, intentional self-harm, sequela
  • T36.8X3 - Poisoning by other systemic antibiotics, assault
  • T36.8X3A - Poisoning by other systemic antibiotics, assault, initial encounter
  • T36.8X3D - Poisoning by other systemic antibiotics, assault, subsequent encounter
  • T36.8X3S - Poisoning by other systemic antibiotics, assault, sequela
  • T36.8X4 - Poisoning by other systemic antibiotics, undetermined
  • T36.8X4A - Poisoning by other systemic antibiotics, undetermined, initial encounter
  • T36.8X4D - Poisoning by other systemic antibiotics, undetermined, subsequent encounter
  • T36.8X4S - Poisoning by other systemic antibiotics, undetermined, sequela
  • T36.8X5 - Adverse effect of other systemic antibiotics
  • T36.8X5A - Adverse effect of other systemic antibiotics, initial encounter
  • T36.8X5D - Adverse effect of other systemic antibiotics, subsequent encounter
  • T36.8X5S - Adverse effect of other systemic antibiotics, sequela
  • T36.8X6 - Underdosing of other systemic antibiotics
  • T36.8X6A - Underdosing of other systemic antibiotics, initial encounter
  • T36.8X6D - Underdosing of other systemic antibiotics, subsequent encounter
  • T36.8X6S - Underdosing of other systemic antibiotics, sequela
  • T36.9 - Poisoning by, adverse effect of and underdosing of unspecified systemic antibiotic
  • T36.91 - Poisoning by unspecified systemic antibiotic, accidental (unintentional)
  • T36.91XA - Poisoning by unspecified systemic antibiotic, accidental (unintentional), initial encounter
  • T36.91XD - Poisoning by unspecified systemic antibiotic, accidental (unintentional), subsequent encounter
  • T36.91XS - Poisoning by unspecified systemic antibiotic, accidental (unintentional), sequela
  • T36.92 - Poisoning by unspecified systemic antibiotic, intentional self-harm
  • T36.92XA - Poisoning by unspecified systemic antibiotic, intentional self-harm, initial encounter
  • T36.92XD - Poisoning by unspecified systemic antibiotic, intentional self-harm, subsequent encounter
  • T36.92XS - Poisoning by unspecified systemic antibiotic, intentional self-harm, sequela
  • T36.93 - Poisoning by unspecified systemic antibiotic, assault
  • T36.93XA - Poisoning by unspecified systemic antibiotic, assault, initial encounter
  • T36.93XD - Poisoning by unspecified systemic antibiotic, assault, subsequent encounter
  • T36.93XS - Poisoning by unspecified systemic antibiotic, assault, sequela
  • T36.94 - Poisoning by unspecified systemic antibiotic, undetermined
  • T36.94XA - Poisoning by unspecified systemic antibiotic, undetermined, initial encounter
  • T36.94XD - Poisoning by unspecified systemic antibiotic, undetermined, subsequent encounter
  • T36.94XS - Poisoning by unspecified systemic antibiotic, undetermined, sequela
  • T36.95 - Adverse effect of unspecified systemic antibiotic
  • T36.95XA - Adverse effect of unspecified systemic antibiotic, initial encounter
  • T36.95XD - Adverse effect of unspecified systemic antibiotic, subsequent encounter
  • T36.95XS - Adverse effect of unspecified systemic antibiotic, sequela
  • T36.96 - Underdosing of unspecified systemic antibiotic
  • T36.96XA - Underdosing of unspecified systemic antibiotic, initial encounter
  • T36.96XD - Underdosing of unspecified systemic antibiotic, subsequent encounter
  • T36.96XS - Underdosing of unspecified systemic antibiotic, sequela

Replaced Code

This code was replaced in the 2020 ICD-10 code set with the code(s) listed below. The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) has published an update to the ICD-10-CM diagnosis codes which became effective October 1, 2019. This code was replaced for the FY 2020 (October 1, 2019 - September 30, 2020).

  • K59.03 - Drug induced constipation

Tabular List of Diseases and Injuries

The Tabular List of Diseases and Injuries is a list of ICD-10 codes, organized "head to toe" into chapters and sections with guidance for inclusions, exclusions, descriptions and more. The following references are applicable to the code T36:

Type 1 Excludes

Type 1 Excludes
A type 1 excludes note is a pure excludes note. It means "NOT CODED HERE!" An Excludes1 note indicates that the code excluded should never be used at the same time as the code above the Excludes1 note. An Excludes1 is used when two conditions cannot occur together, such as a congenital form versus an acquired form of the same condition.
  • antineoplastic antibiotics T45.1
  • locally applied antibiotic NEC T49.0
  • topically used antibiotic for ear, nose and throat T49.6
  • topically used antibiotic for eye T49.5

7th Character Note

7th Character Note
Certain ICD-10-CM categories have applicable 7th characters. The applicable 7th character is required for all codes within the category, or as the notes in the Tabular List instruct. The 7th character must always be the 7th character in the data field. If a code that requires a 7th character is not 6 characters, a placeholder X must be used to fill in the empty characters.
  • The appropriate 7th character is to be added to each code from category T36

7th Character

7th Character
Indicates that a seventh character is to be assigned to codes in a subcategory.
  • A - initial encounter
  • D - subsequent encounter
  • S - sequela

Code Classification

  • Injury, poisoning and certain other consequences of external causes (S00–T98)
    • Poisoning by, adverse effect of and underdosing of drugs, medicaments and biological substances (T36-T50)
      • Systemic antibiotics (T36)

Code History

  • FY 2016 - New Code, effective from 10/1/2015 through 9/30/2016
    (First year ICD-10-CM implemented into the HIPAA code set)
  • FY 2017 - No Change, effective from 10/1/2016 through 9/30/2017
  • FY 2018 - No Change, effective from 10/1/2017 through 9/30/2018
  • FY 2019 - No Change, effective from 10/1/2018 through 9/30/2019
  • FY 2020 - No Change, effective from 10/1/2019 through 9/30/2020

Information for Patients


Antibiotics

Antibiotics are powerful medicines that fight bacterial infections. Used properly, antibiotics can save lives. They either kill bacteria or keep them from reproducing. Your body's natural defenses can usually take it from there.

Antibiotics do not fight infections caused by viruses, such as

  • Colds
  • Flu
  • Most coughs and bronchitis
  • Sore throats, unless caused by strep

If a virus is making you sick, taking antibiotics may do more harm than good. Using antibiotics when you don't need them, or not using them properly, can add to antibiotic resistance. This happens when bacteria change and become able to resist the effects of an antibiotic.

When you take antibiotics, follow the directions carefully. It is important to finish your medicine even if you feel better. If you stop treatment too soon, some bacteria may survive and re-infect you. Do not save antibiotics for later or use someone else's prescription.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


[Learn More]

Drug Reactions

Most of the time, medicines make our lives better. They reduce aches and pains, fight infections, and control problems such as high blood pressure or diabetes. But medicines can also cause unwanted reactions.

One problem is interactions, which may occur between

  • Two drugs, such as aspirin and blood thinners
  • Drugs and food, such as statins and grapefruit
  • Drugs and supplements, such as ginkgo and blood thinners
  • Drugs and diseases, such as aspirin and peptic ulcers

Interactions can change the actions of one or both drugs. The drugs might not work, or you could get side effects.

Side effects are unwanted effects caused by the drugs. Most are mild, such as a stomach aches or drowsiness, and go away after you stop taking the drug. Others can be more serious.

Drug allergies are another type of reaction. They can be mild or life-threatening. Skin reactions, such as hives and rashes, are the most common type. Anaphylaxis, a serious allergic reaction, is more rare.

When you start a new prescription or over-the-counter medication, make sure you understand how to take it correctly. Know which other medications and foods you need to avoid. Ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.


[Learn More]