Got a Cold or Flu, Antibiotics Are Not for You!

Did you know that colds and flu, and most coughs, are caused by viruses, so antibiotics can’t help. Asking you’re GP to prescribe antibiotics for these ailments won’t help you or anybody else. By using them only when necessary, antibiotics are more likely to work when you really need them

Antibiotics are important medicines that treat infections caused by bacteria. However, bacteria can adapt and find ways to survive the effects of the medicine – this is called antibiotic resistance.Without effective antibiotics many routine treatments will become increasingly dangerous. Setting broken bones, basic operations, even chemotherapy all rely on access to antibiotics that work.

The best way to treat most colds, coughs or sore throats is to drink plenty of water and to rest. Colds can last around two weeks and may end with a cough and bringing up phlegm. There are many treatments to help you – for example, paracetamol. You can ask a pharmacist for advice on what remedies you can take to ease the symptoms.

For more information on how best to treat a cold, cough or sore throat, please visit the NHS choices website here.