Antibiotics and Colds

 Colds and Antibiotics

Although a common cold can seem to last forever, the average length of one is two weeks with a fever and sore throat lasting approximately 9 days. Although a cold can be unpleasant, the most effective way to treat one is with rest, painkillers,decongestants and other remedies from your pharmacy.

You may consider that antibiotics will help cure your cold or flu but as the cause of these infections is a virus, antibiotics will not work on them. Antibiotics are designed to treat invading bacterial infections such as meningitis or pneumonia and GPs must follow medical guidelines that specify when and what antibiotics to prescribe for different infections. However, if you develop severe or worrying symptoms (eg breathlessness or chest pain) please arrange to see a GP who will examine you and decide if an antibiotic will help.

Using antibiotics sensibly is essential as bacterial resistance is growing.  Below you will find links to websites which explain how GPs are prescribing antibiotics and the reasons why it is so important not to abuse these valuable medications:



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