Inappropriate use of antibiotics may be harmful | The Source | Washington University in St. Louis
Antibiotics are not the answer to curing the common cold.The sniffles. A runny nose. A cough. That's right — the cold season is upon us. But before you head off to your doctor demanding antibiotics to lessen your symptoms, be aware that those drugs don't always work and can have serious side effects, say two physicians at Washington University in St. Louis. "People need to remember that antibiotics are used for bacterial infections. A common cold is a virus. Antibiotics simply won't work on viral infections," says David C. Mellinger, M.D., associate director and chief physician at the university's Student Health Service. "Antibiotics are drugs prescribed to kill bacteria, not viruses."