Antibiotics aren’t always the answer

Norton eCare provides appropriate treatment

When you’re sick, it’s natural to want a quick fix so you can get back to feeling 100%. While you may feel like antibiotics could help, they are not always the answer. Antibiotics only kill bacteria, not viruses.

When do you need an antibiotic? The answer may surprise you.

Before asking about antibiotics, remember they may not be necessary. Norton eCare has a team of providers available to determine the most appropriate treatment — and you don’t have to leave your home. You can access Norton eCare 24 hours a day, seven days a week with a convenient, secure online video visit or eVisit questionnaire through MyNortonChart on your mobile device or computer.

Sinus Infection

Typically, sinus infection symptoms include nasal congestion, runny nose and pressure or pain behind the eyes or teeth. Growing research shows the majority of sinus infections are caused by viruses, not bacteria.

Get Connected

Try Norton eCare next time you or your child (age 2 or older) has a minor illness and not a lot of time.

Get Started

You may be prescribed antibiotics when:

  • Your symptoms last longer than 10 to 14 days and are severe enough to interfere with daily living.
  • You have a fever higher than 102.2 degrees for more than three days.

Sore Throat

Ninety percent of sore throats are caused by a cold or the flu. These are viral infections, so you may not need an antibiotic. A sore throat caused by bacteria — strep throat — is fought with antibiotics.

The more cold-related symptoms you have, the less likely it is that your sore throat is a strep infection. In many cases of strep throat, you may experience:

  • A fever higher than 102.2 degrees
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
  • Bright red throat or dark red spots on the top of the mouth at the back, near the throat
  • White or yellow spots or coating on the throat and tonsils


Acute bronchitis appears suddenly and usually lasts up to three weeks. It’s typically caused by a virus, so antibiotics are not required. Long-lasting bronchitis, which can be triggered by pneumonia or a chronic respiratory disease such as asthma, cystic fibrosis or bronchiectasis, may be a bacterial infection, and you may benefit from an antibiotic in those cases. Talk to a medical provider about antibiotics if:

  • You have fever higher than 102.2 degrees
  • You experience shortness of breath.
  • Your pain gets worse after a week.
  • You start to cough up thick mucus.

Schedule an Appointment

Select an appointment date and time from available spots listed below.