Prevention and Wellness

Don’t Self-medicate with Antibiotics

It could be harmful to your health

Antibiotics are never the cure for a common cold. This is because this sort of medication fights diseases by killing bacteria, and not curing viral sickness. They don’t work against illnesses like the common cold or flu.

If you try to use an antibiotic to fight a virus, it will:

  • Not cure the viral infection.
  • Not help the person feel better.
  • Not prevent other people from catching it.

Only a doctor can diagnose a patient. The doctor decides if they should use this medicine. They’re also responsible for selecting the right one, if needed.

A few facts about viruses
There are many types of viruses that cause colds. Also, it is very common for young children to have more viral illnesses a year than adults. These colds are not treated with antibiotics because they are caused by viruses. Antibiotics are useless against them.

Consequences of self-medicating with antibiotics

When antibiotics are taken unnecessarily, bacteria can develop resistance. This resistance could worsen your chances for recovery. There is also a greater risk for problems from their wrong use. That is why you should never use or give antibiotics without talking to a doctor.

Treating a cold or flu

Children and adults with viral infections will get better when the illness has run its course. A cold caused by a virus can last as long as two weeks or more. Ask your doctor how you can ease the symptoms. If your cold gets worse or lasts longer than expected, check with the doctor again. Triple-S plan members can also call Teleconsulta for professional health help.


  • Antibiotics fight bacteria but not viruses.
  • Taking antibiotics is not always the solution.
  • Only your doctor can decide if you need antibiotics.
  • Wrongly taking antibiotics could be harmful to your health.

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