Can We Treat Cold And Flu With Antibiotics?

Having cold and flu could make you feel lousy. It can make a normal day seem long and tedious. Many people wonder if taking a course of antibiotics would make them feel better. But, cold and flu are caused by viruses. And antibiotics work for bacterial infection.

Learn why taking antibiotics without prescription could be bad for you. And also know when you should actually take it.

Why taking Antibiotics Could be a Problem

It might seem like taking antibiotics will help heal your cold and flu. But, it might do more harm than good. When people take antibiotics when they shouldn’t, the body develops immunity towards medicine. The antibiotics will be less effective. So, when you fall sick due to a bacterial infection and you take the antibiotic, it might not help you anymore.

This has to do with the bacteria. They can be sneaky when they need to be. When the bacteria have become aware that antibiotics are nearby, they change their appearance to survive. The new strains are often resistant to antibiotics. This means that when you fall sick, the doctor may need to try several medicines until one works for you.

To avoid this from happening, it is best to stay away from antibiotics. Do not opt for it initially, if you have a cold or flu.

When to take Antibiotics

Just because they are ineffective in cold and flu does not mean antibiotics are useless. When used correctly, they can help save lives. Antibiotics are prescribed to treat strep throat, bronchitis, pneumonia, pink eye, ear infection, etc. They can be prescribed as long as the infection is bacterial.

If you have been prescribed antibiotics then make sure to take them on time. It is important that you do not miss any dosage or leave the treatment incomplete. You may feel that you are recovering after the first dose itself. But, it is important to complete the full course. If you leave it incomplete, some bacteria will survive and build resistance to the antibiotic. It may also cause you to fall sick all over again.

How to Treat Cold and Flu?

We know now that antibiotics will not be of much help in cold and flu. Does that mean that you just have to suffer till it goes away? Well, the answer is no. There are so many remedies that you could help you feel better and heal quickly.


Antivirals are medicines prescribed to you for cold and flu. Their main job is to stop the virus from multiplying. This is usually the second line of defense. One should always take an annual flu shot to be safe from viral infections. If taken at the onset of a viral infection, it can help reduce the duration and the severity of the flu.

Drink Fluids

When you have a viral infection like cold or flu consume loads of fluid. It helps with the congestion and also thins the mucus. Dehydration may also cause headaches and fatigue. This can make you feel worse. Keep a bottle of water nearby. You can also consume soup, juice, and other kinds of liquid.

Rest Up

When you are sick, the body is fighting off the infection in your body. Staying up late or forcing yourself to work might weaken the immune system further. To get better soon, get proper rest and sleep. Often the nose gets blocked. And it gets harder to breathe through the nose when you lie down. Use an extra pillow to help breathe easy.

Hot Shower

Some people say you shouldn’t shower when you are sick. And others insist that a shower would make you feel better. It depends on how you choose to shower. If you have a cold then a hot shower might be helpful. The steam from the hot shower will loosen up your congestion and moisten your nose and throat. However, it is crucial that you do not sit in a cold room after the shower. It can worsen your cold.

Consume Honey

Cold And Flu

Coughs usually accompany cold. And it can be really annoying. But, the cough syrup doses are limited and they don’t always help. In such cases, you can turn to honey. The sticky sweet stuff is known to help soothe a bad cough and give you relief. There is no harm in trying honey as it has a ton of other benefits as well.

When suffering from a cold and flu, you could take some over-the-counter medicines as well. These are more of symptomatic treatment. For example, you can take ibuprofen for fever and body ache. If the cough is not going away, throat lozenges will help grant you relief.

To heal properly and get back to good health, it is crucial that you get proper rest and sleep. Make sure to keep yourself hydrated. Therefore, it will also help wash the toxins out. However, if the cold seems to persist, you visit your doctor. And find out if there is any other reason.

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