Researchers attending the annual meeting of American College of Chest Physicians presented study findings that antibiotics for a cold are not effective at all in children. So why are doctors prescribing antibiotics for the common cold?
“In our experience,” said lead author Francesco de Blasio, MD of the Clinic Center Private Hospital in Naples, Italy, “antibiotics are often prescribed by the general practitioner to treat cough in children, many times to pacify parents. However, antibiotics show very little effectiveness at treating cough due to your average head cold.”
Antibiotics Kill Bacteria, Not Viruses
De Blasio and other researchers studied over 300 children, some of whom were administered antibiotics while others were given varying combinations of anti-tussives and antibiotics, only anti-tussives, and still others no medication at all. Children administered only antibiotics showed less improvement in cough resolution than did children treated with onl anti-tussives. Those treated with a combination of drugs showed no variance in cough resolution compared to children given only anti-tussives.
These results back the American College of Chest Physicians’ evidence that antibiotics—which kill bacteria, not viruses that cause the common cold—are ineffective at treating the cough.
“As parents, it is difficult to watch our children suffering from a terrible cough,” ACCP President-Elect Darcy D. Marciniuk admits, “but turning to antibiotics is not always the answer. Depending on the underlying cause of the cough, a healthcare professional can recommend the best treatment options for a child, which, in some cases may be no treatment.”
Antibiotics for a Cold? No Thanks! Antibiotics Destroy Gut Health
In fact, antibiotics can worsen existing conditions and invite unwelcome side effects, like destroyed gut health due to the devastation of both good flora and bad. To be more clear, antibiotics destroy even the good bacteria in your gut, which can help lead to countless conditions. Gut health is essential for overall wellbeing. Therefore, children treated with antibiotics who have their gut altered—perhaps permanently—have raised chances of developing lifelong obesity, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.
Home Remedies for Cough and Cold
The good news is that most of us have the ingredients for natural home remedies for the cough in our own kitchens. Try the following to get back to health.
- Eat garlic (antibacterial, antimicrobial, antivirual, antifungal) or grapes (an expectorant)
- Drink aloe juice with honey
- Drink warm milk or tea with honey, especially for a dry cough
- Eat ginger or make ginger tea with honey and coconut milk
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