1 doctor weighed in:

Can antibiotics ever be needed for a cold?

1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Joel Gallant
Internal Medicine - Infectious Disease

In brief: No

If it's truly just a cold, the answer is no.
It's a viral illness, and won't respond to antibiotics. You can sometimes go on to develop bronchitis or sinusitis, but studies show that antibiotics are of no benefit for acute bronchitis, and should only be used for sinusitis when it persists for a long time. Antibiotics are recommended for strep throat, but most sore throats aren't strep throats.

In brief: No

If it's truly just a cold, the answer is no.
It's a viral illness, and won't respond to antibiotics. You can sometimes go on to develop bronchitis or sinusitis, but studies show that antibiotics are of no benefit for acute bronchitis, and should only be used for sinusitis when it persists for a long time. Antibiotics are recommended for strep throat, but most sore throats aren't strep throats.
Dr. Joel Gallant
Dr. Joel Gallant
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