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Antibiotics are medications used to treat – and, in some cases, prevent – bacterial infections.

They can be used to treat relatively mild conditions such as acne, as well as potentially life-threatening conditions such as pneumonia.

However, antibiotics often have no benefit for many other types of infection. Using them unnecessarily would only increase the risk of antibiotic resistance, so they are not routinely used.

Read more about when antibiotics are used on the NHS Choices website.

For more general information about antibiotics, see NHS Choices website.

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