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Colds and flus - antibiotics

Definition

Colds and flus are NOT cured by antibiotics.

Alternative Names

Antibiotics - colds and flu

Information

Antibiotics will fight bacterial infections, but they do not treat viral infections such as colds and the flu . If you have a viral infection, antibiotics will NOT make you better.

Antibiotics can destroy normal ("healthy") bacteria that live in your body. This can result in symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea, and vaginal yeast infections.

The overuse of antibiotics has played a role in the rise in drug-resistant bacterial infections. Taking antibiotics also poses a risk of allergic reaction, so they should not be taken when there is no possible benefit.

References

Anon JB. Upper Respiratory Infections. . April 2010;123(4):suppl 1.

Lindell A, Kelsberg G, Safranek S. Antibiotics for viral upper respiratory tractinfections in children. 2011;83(6):747-752.

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    Encyclopedia content is provided as information only and not intended to replace the advice and instruction from your personal physician.