Doc Talk

Why can't I take antibiotics for a cold or flu?

Antibiotics cannot cure a cold or a flu, and can cause more harm instead


Recently, a patient who is in his mid-30s and whom I have been seeing for a chronic medical condition asked me for antibiotics.

"My phlegm is yellow. Every time this happens, I ask for antibiotics from my GP, take them and I get better in a few days," he said.

Please or to continue reading the full article.

Get unlimited access to all stories at $0.99/month
  • Latest headlines and exclusive stories
  • In-depth analyses and award-winning multimedia content
  • Get access to all with our no-contract promotional package at only $0.99/month for the first 3 months*

*Terms and conditions apply.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 18, 2019, with the headline 'Why can't I take antibiotics for a cold or flu? '. Subscribe