Flus and colds - antibiotics

Alternative names 
Colds and flus - antibiotics; Antibiotics - colds and flu

Information

Colds and flus are NOT cured by antibiotics.

Antibiotics will fight bacterial infections, but do not treat viral infections like colds and the flu. So unless you have a bacterial infection, do NOT take antibiotics. Antibiotics can wipe out normal bacteria that live in your body. This can result in symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea, and vaginal yeast infections. Further, the overuse of antibiotics has contributed to the rise in drug-resistant bacterial infections.

If you are suffering from a viral infection, antibiotics will NOT make you better. They will likely make you feel worse.

Johns Hopkins patient information

Last revised: December 7, 2012
by Mamikon Bozoyan, M.D.

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