Looking for an effective common cold or flu treatment and wondering if antibiotics will work? Antibiotics are medications that fight infections caused by bacteria, but the flu is caused by a virus. Antibiotics will not help you feel better.
Taking antibiotics when you have a virus may do more harm than good. Taking antibiotics when they are not needed increases your risk of getting an infection later that may resist antibiotic treatment.
Serious side effects from antibiotics aren’t common, but they can occur. Some of the main serious side effects include:
- Allergic reactions
- Stevens-Johnson syndrome: it is a rare, but serious, disorder of the skin and mucous membranes (the moist linings of certain parts of your body, such as your nose, mouth, throat, and lungs). Typically, SJS begins with flu-like symptoms, such as a fever or sore throat and followed by blisters and a painful rash that spreads.
- Blood reactions: Some antibiotics can cause changes to your blood. For example, leukopenia is a decrease in the number of white blood cells. It can lead to increased infections.
- Heart problems: A new study found that women whose total time taking antibiotics was two months or longer had a higher risk of heart attacks and strokes.
- Tendonitis: It is an inflammation or irritation of a tendon. Tendons are thick cords that attach bone to muscle, and they can be found throughout your body.
- Seizures: It’s rare for antibiotics to cause seizures, but it can happen. Seizures are more common with ciprofloxacin, imipenem, and cephalosporin antibiotics such as cefixime and cephalexin.
Only your doctor can prescribe antibiotics. Talk to them if you think you might need them.
* All content published is for general information purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice.