Antibiotics ineffective for coughs
A course of antibiotics may not be appropriate to treat a chest infection. In a new study published in the Lancet, researchers found that the use of antibiotics for persistent cough – those lasting more than 28 days – was no better than a placebo.
The doctors studied 2,000 patients across 12 European countries in an attempt to identify how necessary antibiotics were for a mild chest infection. It was found that most coughs will treat themselves, meaning antibiotics are unnecessary. According to the scientists, most chest infections are caused by viruses, meaning antibiotics will be ineffective.
The research was initiated in order to question the overuse of antibiotics in primary care practice.
Despite these discoveries, if a doctor suspects pneumonia, antibiotics should be administered to treat the condition.