Rational use of antibiotics

"The answer is complex and we don't have all the data yet, but one thing is totally certain, it is the antibiotics themselves that make it easier for bacteria to develop resistance".


From the availability of penicillin and in the following years many antibacterial drugs were developed, to the point that apparently infectious diseases could become no problem for humans. But the reality is very different.

Antibiotics only cure infections produced by bacteria and the vast majority of infections that any of us suffer are produced by viruses, against which antibiotics are useless. The most typical examples are the flu or the common cold.

Every time you take an antibiotic, you put a grain of sand in the development of resistances that sooner or later can end up producing in you an infection that puts your life or that of any person in serious danger.

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Learn more about antibiotics

How they work

There is only one cause, the development by bacteria of systems that defend them from the effects that antibiotics produce on them. These systems are called resistance mechanisms.

Over the years, bacteria have learned to develop diverse and sophisticated protection systems: to produce proteins that destroy the structure of the antibiotic, to prevent the drug from penetrating into its interior, to modify the form of the place where the antibiotic acts and even to have a mechanism that expels the drug once it has penetrated into its interior.

Bacteria can develop one or several of these mechanisms, against one or several antibiotics. Moreover, they are capable of transmitting this information about resistance systems to all their descendants and even to bacteria.

Advice on the use of antibiotics:

  • If you have an illness that suggests an infection, do not hesitate to consult your doctor. Only he is qualified to decide if this infection is cured or not with antibiotics.
  • Willingly accept your doctor's opinion. He or she knows and values your clinical situation and that of the environment, and therefore has information that you do not know. The doctor is only interested in your health.
  • Do not keep any extra medication. Just because it was prescribed by your doctor to treat an infection similar to the one you have now does not mean that it will be effective now.
  • Do not recommend or accept treatment with antibiotics from anyone other than your doctor.

Do you suspect you have an infection?

See your family doctor to assess the need to start treatment with antibiotics

Where do we do it?


The Infectious Diseases Service
of the Clínica Universidad de Navarra

This area works on the diagnosis and treatment of diseases produced by an infectious agent, which can be bacteria, virus, fungus and protozoa. Infections affect people by causing very different processes that can be located in any tissue of the human body, so it requires a specific approach.

This area carries out its activity on three fronts: care work, focused on the diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases; teaching, with training of medical students, resident doctors and nurses; and research vocation, through the development of clinical and laboratory studies.

Organized in care units

  • Infections associated with biomaterials.
  • Nosocomial infections (multi-resistance).
  • Infections in immunosuppressed patients.
  • Community infection.
  • Traveler's medicine.
  • Prudent use and optimization program of anti-infective therapy.
  • Control of infection by multi-resistant microorganisms.
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Why at the Clinica?

  • We perform the traveler's assessment and analytical tests in less than 24 hours.
  • Second opinion consultation when the infection has not yet been resolved.
  • We ensure the prudent use of antibiotics.