How should I treat my cold?
The best way to treat most colds, coughs or sore throats is to drink plenty of fluids and to rest. Colds can last about two weeks and may end with a cough and bringing up phlegm. There are many over the counter remedies to ease the symptoms – paracetamol, for example. Ask your pharmacist for advice. If the cold lasts more than three weeks, or you become breathless or have chest pains, or already have a chest complaint, see your GP.
What about my children, they are always getting coughs and colds?
It is very common for children to get coughs and colds, especially when they go to school and mix with other children. Ask your pharmacist for advice. If the symptoms persist and you are concerned, see your GP but you should not expect to be prescribed antibiotics.
Why should antibiotics not be used to treat coughs and colds?
All colds and most coughs and sore throats are caused by viruses. Antibiotics do not work against such infections, such as colds, caused by viruses. Viral infections are much more common than bacterial infections.
What are antibiotics?
Antibiotics are important medicines used to treat infections caused by bacteria. Bacteria can adapt and find ways to survive the effects of an antibiotic. They become ‘antibiotic resistant’ so that the antibiotic no longer works. The more often we use an antibiotic, the more likely it is that bacteria will become resistant to it.
What can I do about antibiotic resistance?
By only using antibiotics when it is appropriate to do so. We now know that most coughs and colds get better just as quickly without antibiotics. When they are prescribed, the course should be taken in order to get rid of the bacteria completely. If the course is not completed, some bacteria may be left to develop resistance.
Further information can be found on the following website: