Skip to content
    This content is selected and controlled by WebMD's editorial staff and is brought to you by Reckitt Benckiser.
    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Should I take antibiotics for a cold?

    Answer by:
    WebMD Expert


     

    No. Antibiotics don't work for the common cold, which is caused by viruses. Antibiotics only treat bacterial infections.

    Sometimes a bacterial infection will follow a cold virus. Signs that you may have a bacterial infection after a cold are pain around the face and eyes that may worsen when bending over, and coughing up thick yellow or green mucus. These symptoms may also occur with a cold. But if they last for more than a week or are severe, you may have a bacterial infection and need antibiotics.

    Is it a cold or the flu?

    Test your knowledge.

    View More

    All About the Flu

    How long you're contagious and other flu facts.

    View More
    Mucinex

    Mucinex® Provides All
    Day Congestion Relief

    One mucus busting pill. All
    day chest congestion relief.
    Only Mucinex® has a unique
    bi-layer tablet that starts right
    away and keeps working for
    12 full hours.

    Mucinex Fast Max Night Time

    Mucinex® Fast-Max®
    Night Time Cold &
    Flu Relief

    Mucinex® Fast-Max®Night
    Time. Multi-symptom relief
    plus a nasal decongestant.
    Breathe easy. Sleep easy.

    Previous Slide Next Slide
    close

    From Our Sponsor

    Content under this heading is from or created on behalf of the named sponsor. This content is not subject to the WebMD Editorial Policy and is not reviewed by the WebMD Editorial department for accuracy, objectivity or balance.