Correct use of antibiotics - Antibiotikaresistenzen



The number of cases of antibiotic resistance is rising globally, increasing the risk that bacterial infections in humans and animals will become very difficult or impossible to treat. Every year in Switzerland, among other countries, people and animals are infected with bacteria which can no longer be treated with antibiotics.

The consequences are serious and affect humans, animals, agriculture and the environment in equal measure.



Antibiotics are medicines to kill bacteria or prevent their spreading. They are used to treat bacterial infections in humans and animals. Different diseases require their specific antibiotics. Antibiotics do not work for viral infections (e.g. a cold).

Please speak to your doctor, dentist or pharmacist for further information.



Antibiotic resistance means that bacteria do not respond or respond less effectively to antibiotics. Incorrect or excessive intake of antibiotics can help the development of resistance of this kind. Resistant bacteria can be transmitted to other people.

Please speak to your doctor, dentist or pharmacist for further information.

If you are given antibiotics ...

If you are not given antibiotics ...

If you are given antibiotics ...

Do the right thing

Please do pay attention

  • Do take your antibiotics exactly according your doctor’s prescription, i.e. the right dose for the right length of time.
    The individually prescribed dose guarantees that your antibiotics are as effective as possible. Keep taking the prescribed course of antibiotics even if you start to feel better after a few days.
  • Do not skip doses.
    If you forget to take your antibiotics, it may prolong the infection, which will have a negative effect on your recovery. If you experience side effects, please speak to your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Do not share antibiotics prescribed for you with others.
    Your specific antibiotics have been prescribed for your treatment to meet your special needs.
  • Please return partially used packs.
    Do not dispose of partially used packs with your household waste as the antibiotics may enter the environment (e.g. contaminating waste water). Do not keep antibiotics to cure other illnesses.

If you are not given antibiotics ...


What you need to know

  • Use of antibiotics is only effective to treat bacterial infections.
    Some bacterial infections may clear up on their own without antibiotics. Your doctor will only prescribe antibiotics not until really needed. Antibiotics do not work for viral infections (e.g. flu or colds).
  • In many cases, your body’s immune system is strong enough.
    A healthy body generally fights simple infections with great efficiency. Fever, for example, is a sign of an active reaction of the immune system.
  • Incorrect intake can cause resistance to antibiotics. 
    Some of existing antibiotics have lost their efficiency to fight resistant bacteria. Therefore treatment of infectious diseases has become much more difficult or may even end in failure of treatment.
  • Antibiotics can sometimes produce harmful side effects.
    Used incorrectly, the side effects of antibiotics may outweigh the benefits, as the antibiotics, for example, could harm and weaken the essential bacteria and even support the development of resistance against antibiotics.