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iVillage.com: What Works and What Doesn't: The Verdict on Cold Remedies

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Can Antibiotics Cure a Cold?

Antibiotics are effective in fighting bacterial infections, not viral infections. The common cold is caused by a virus, so an antibiotic will not be effective. Translation: You won’t get better faster by taking them. That said, sometimes colds can set the stage for individuals to develop secondary infections like a sinus infection or ear infection -- and when these circumstances occur, an antibiotic is an effective and appropriate treatment. However, downing pills on the fly to treat only a common cold can result in antibiotic resistance (meaning that your body becomes accustomed to the medication resulting in an inability to fight off a bacterial infection when truly needed). Always check with your doctor before taking any antibiotic.

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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