Toss those leftovers

It happens. You diligently take your antibiotics exactly when and how often you’re told to take them. Then you start to feel better and, mysteriously, there are meds left in the bottle. Ah well! Waste not, want not. Keeping these extras could save you a doctor visit next time you get the sniffles so you pack them into the medicine chest, right?

Don’t do it! First, make sure to take them for as long as your doctor prescribes. Prescriptions cover the time your body needs to battle all the bacteria that are dragging you down. Stopping the dose too soon–just because you feel well again–gives bacteria the chance to get back on their feet.

If you’re sure you’ve taken the full dose prescribed, throw away the rest. Saving them to take the next time you’re sick or to give to an ailing family member if they become ill causes bacteria to become resistant to antibiotics.

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