Monday, August 04, 2008

Do antibiotics help?

It is very important to remember that antibiotics only help in infections caused by bacteria. They have no effects on viruses. Hence antibiotics do not help with colds. You have to allow your immune system to fight the viruses!

Besides that, antibiotics do not help with any of the cold and cough symptoms either. They do not stop your condition from getting worse and also do not stop you from spreading the viruses to other people.

Very importantly, the use of antibiotics when you do not need them makes them less effective when you eventually do need antibiotics for a bacterial infection. This also increases resistance to antibiotics in the community.

Use of antibiotics can also cause unwanted side effects such as stomach discomfort, diarrhea, fungal infections such as thrush and allergic reactions.

It usually suffices to get adequate rest and use symptomatic treatments.

Source: Health care booklet from Guardian pharmacy

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