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.

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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? '. Print Edition | Subscribe