Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria mutate and make certain medications ineffective in preventing bacterial infections.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services offers these suggestions for preventing antibiotic-resistant infections:

Talk to your doctor about whether you actually need an antibiotic to treat a particular illness.

Don't take antibiotics when they are not helpful. For example, antibiotics will not treat infections caused by viruses, including the common cold and the flu.

Always take antibiotics as prescribed by your doctor. Don't skip any dose, and don't stop taking them early, even if you feel better.

Never "save" antibiotics to take later. Never re-use them for a different illness.

Never take an antibiotic that was prescribed to another person.