most coughs does n’t respond to antibiotics


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Study participants were 18 and older and had sought treatment for an acute cough — meaning they’d had the cough for less than a month — which is one of the most common illnesses seen by primary care doctors. There was no reason to suspect that any of them had the lung infection pneumonia, which is treated with antibiotics.

Participants took the antibiotic three times daily for seven days. While they had no better recovery than those taking the dummy pills, they were more likely to report side effects such as nausea, rash and diarrhea, according to the study, published online Dec. 19 in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

That said, more people in the placebo group did experience new or worsening symptoms, but this did not occur frequently enough to justify treating everyone with antibiotics. Thirty people would need to be treated with antibiotics to prevent one person from developing new or worsening symptoms, the study found.

The study is the largest to date that shows antibiotics do not help treat lower-respiratory infections, the researchers say.

Indiscriminate use of antibiotics may also pose risks, Schuetz said. “The main risk from antibiotics is related to direct side effects such as severe diarrhea,” he said. “The other risk relates to emergence of multi-resistant bacteria, which on a population level are a threat to society as antibiotics may not work properly.”

Dr. Len Horovitz, a pulmonologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, said that many patients beg for antibiotics to nip a cold in the bud. “This is not how it works,” he said. “Viruses such as the common cold do not respond to antibiotics.”

So what does work? “Comfort care, such as more sleep, drinking lots of fluids, and using a humidifier at night,” he said. “If you have a cough or lower respiratory tract infection, go to the doctor and let him examine you.” The doctor can take a culture of any mucus that comes up with the cough to see if there is a bacteria present, he explained.

“Getting antibiotics for a dry cough without taking a culture is doing a disservice,” he said. “There is no benefit and there may be a slight risk.”

SOURCES: Philipp Schuetz, M.D., M.P.H., Kantonsspital Aarau, Tellstrasse, Aarau, Switzerland; Len Horovitz, M.D., pulmonologist, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; Dec. 19, 2012, The Lancet Infectious Diseases, online

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harikrishnamurthy

a happy go lucky person by nature,committed to serve others and remove their sufferings through all possible help. POSTS IN MY BLOG ARE MY OWN OPINION, COLLECTIONS OF INTERESTING ARTICLES FROM FROM VARIOUS SOURCES. MY ONLY AIM IS TO SHARE GOOD THINGS WITH OTHERS WHICH MAY BE USEFUL TO OTHERS AND NOT TO HURT ANY ONE'S FEELINGS. If you like my blog, like me,follow me, share with others, reblog If you have some suggestions post comments your suggestions and comments are eagerly awaited

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