Viruses, not bacteria are the cause of common cold, influenza and most coughs. Antibiotics are only effective against bacterial illnesses and in some cases when used against cold or flu they can do more harm than good, the expert warned.
Taking an antibiotic prescription medication or one leftover in the household drugs cabinet from a previous illness might actually make a person feel better but this is merely a superficial effect (placebo).
Influenza can only be effectively countered by anti viral medicines or an immunization dose which usually give protection for about a year, a medical report said.
The incorrect use of antibiotics to cure a cold, can trigger allergies or other side effects like stomach problems, diarrhea or sensitivity to sunlight. In severe cases kidney or liver damage could arise.
In the case of viral infections the onset of fever is more gradual. It is worth remembering that if an antibiotic is needed to combat bacterial infections, it must be used properly, with the correct usage adhered to the treatment period.
There is at risk that bacteria could become resistant to its use, rendering the medicines ineffective.