Do I Need Antibiotics Doc?

With the more inclement weather arriving we’re starting to see more viral infections. It’s often hard to know when to contact the GP to see if you need antibiotics or not.

Viruses classically present as sore throat, headache, feeling hot and cold, a clear runny nose, a cough which is only really productive first thing in the morning and you often ache all over. You may get a temperature with it, but it is very unlikely to be persistently high. These frequently last over 2 weeks and may involve a mixture of the above symptoms .

If viral these do not respond to antibiotics and it is best to use simple cough linctus , paracetamol, steam inhalation and ensure you are drinking plenty of fluids.

If your temperature is persistently high, if your glands are very swollen and if you are bringing up coloured sputum throughout the day then this may be bacterial and it would be worth seeing a GP. Obviously if you are coughing up any blood you should contact your GP straight away.

It may be worth looking at the following link for more information

For sore throats the Centor scoring system can help define which are viral and which require antibiotics. Why not put your symptoms into the calculator and see what it suggests. Please remember this is only a guide.