Do Antibiotics help treat the common cold?

Will antibiotics cure a common cold?

Antibiotics will not work against a common cold or any other illness, such as the flu, caused by a virus. If the cold has opened the way to other infections caused by bacteria, such as ear infections, sinus infections or bronchitis or pneumonia, then a doctor must make that determination and prescribe an antibiotic. If your doctor prescribes antibiotics, be sure to ask whether it is because there is a bacterial infection present, and do not use antibiotics if there is no bacterial infection.

Taking antibiotics when they are not needed will harm a person over time since bacteria that are resistant to the antibiotics will build up in their body. Antibiotic resistant illnesses are a growing cause of concern around the world and in India. In India a form of Tuberculosis completely resistant to all antibiotics has been identified, meaning those infected with that disease have no available cure.

Will Vitamin C cure the cold? Are home remedies the solution?

Research studies have not shown that taking Vitamin C daily prevents colds, but for some people, the severity and period of the illness was less. There are many other herbal remedies available in drugstores, and many people have their own home remedies. So far no scientific study has shown any of these to be effective at either preventing or quickly curing colds, but also not all substances and cures have been systematically researched. If you have a family remedy that’s been in use for generations, it probably does no harm, though it is always best to double-check with a doctor before giving it to children.

Even the supposedly “tried and true” combination of eucalyptus oil, menthol (found in peppermint) and camphor can be harmful to children under 2 even if only used on the skin. These items should not be taken by mouth by anyone under 6. Camphor has been associated with seizures in children.

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