Why shouldn’t you take antibiotics for a cold or the flu? - FluCamp

Our over-reliance on antibiotics to find relief from numerous ailments, including cold and flu symptoms, is a major health concern – according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Identifying superbugs

So, what are “superbugs?” Well they are defined as “strains of bacteria that are resistant  to the majority of antibiotics commonly used today”. These drug-resistant bacteria can cause serious skin and urinary tract infections, as well as pneumonia, tuberculosis, and even sepsis.

While bacteria’s ability to adapt to drugs is a natural part of its evolution, our misuse of antibiotics is speeding up the process.

One of the biggest concerns is over-prescription of antibiotics for infections that they are not designed to treat, like the common cold or flu virus. To prevent this, you should describe your symptoms as accurately as possible to your doctor so the most accurate diagnosis can be made. Often the best course of treatment for a viral infection is to give your immune system time to do its job.

Here are some ways to protect yourself from drug-resistant “superbugs”:

  • Don’t insist that your Doctor gives you antibiotics if the infection is viral.
  • Follow the directions on your antibiotics carefully when you do have a bacterial infection.
  • Never stop taking your antibiotics mid treatment, even if you are feeling better.
  • Never share your medication with others, or use old prescriptions.


Remember – Antibiotics are an important tool for fighting infection, but they are not a catch-all solution. They will not help you if you have a cold or flu infection!


If you would like to find out more about the work we do at FluCamp to fight cold and flu viruses, or if you would like to register your interest in our clinical trials, you can do so here.


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