Home remedies: Antibiotics or home remedies

November 28, 2017 by From Mayo Clinic News Network, Mayo Clinic News Network

For parents, it can be hard to tell whether your child's illness requires antibiotics or if there are other ways to effectively treat his or her symptoms. To prevent overuse of these drugs, it's important to know when home remedies can be used instead of antibiotics.

"If your has an , consider using over-the-counter pain relievers in place of antibiotics," says Tiffany Casper, D.O., a Mayo Clinic Health System family physician. "Children's ear infections usually improve within two to three days, especially for kids who are 2 years or older. If your child's health does not improve within a few days, it would be wise to take them in to see their provider."

Dr. Casper recommends antibiotics for an ear if:

- Your child is 6 months old or younger.

- Your child is between 6months and 2 years old, and has moderate to severe pain.

- Your child is 2 years old or older and experiencing severe symptoms.

"Don't use antibiotics to treat your child's cold, flu and most other respiratory infections," says Dr. Casper. "Most respiratory infections are caused by viruses, and antibiotics don't treat viruses. Antibiotics fight bacteria.

"Instead, Dr. Casper suggests offering your child warm liquids, such as tea or soup. These can have a soothing effect and loosen mucus. Over-the-counter saline nasal drops or saline spray also can loosen nasal mucus. Try running a cool-mist humidifier in your child's room or using steam from a hot shower for additional relief.

Strep throat is caused by bacteria. However, most children with the symptoms of strep throat have a virus, explains Dr. Casper. "You should ask for a strep throat test before turning to antibiotics to cure your child's symptoms," she says.

Ice cream, frozen fruit pops or cold beverages may soothe a . Older children can try gargling salt water or sucking on throat lozenges. Always encourage your child to get enough rest, so his or her body has a chance to recover.

"Consider getting for your child when a cough persists for 14 days or more," says Dr. Casper. "Antibiotics are also necessary if a doctor diagnoses your child with a bacterial infection, such as ."

Explore further: Seven tips to combat viral upper respiratory illness

1 shares

Related Stories

Seven tips to combat viral upper respiratory illness

December 28, 2016
The next time you go to see your health care provider for an upper respiratory illness - a cough or cold - don't assume you'll get a prescription for an antibiotic.

Antibiotics are not always the answer

July 7, 2017
The discovery of penicillin in 1928 was heralded as a medical miracle. As one of the first antibiotics, it could cure patients of potentially deadly bacterial illnesses, such as scarlet fever, typhoid and pneumonia.

When antibiotics are needed

November 18, 2015
(HealthDay)—Overuse of antibiotics is one of the main causes of antibiotic resistance, a major public health threat in the United States.

New strep throat guidelines tackle antibiotic resistance

September 10, 2012
(HealthDay)—Doctors need to accurately diagnose and treat strep throat in order to avoid inappropriate use of antibiotics that can lead to drug-resistant bacteria, according to updated guidelines from the Infectious Diseases ...

Drug-resistant infections: A new epidemic, and what you can do to help

November 10, 2011
(Medical Xpress)—Are you aware that colds, flu, most sore throats and bronchitis are caused by viruses? Did you know that antibiotics do not help fight viruses and that using them for viral infections only decreases their ...

Home remedies: a case of the common cold

January 23, 2017
The common cold is a viral infection of your nose and throat (upper respiratory tract). It's usually harmless, although it might not feel that way. Children younger than six are at greatest risk of colds, but healthy adults ...

Recommended for you

Drug for spinal muscular atrophy prompts ethical dilemmas, bioethicists say

December 11, 2017
When the Food and Drug Administration approved the first drug for people with spinal muscular atrophy a year ago, clinicians finally had hope for improving the lives of patients with the rare debilitating muscular disease. ...

FDA's program to speed up drug approval shaved nearly a year off the process

December 7, 2017
Speeding the pace at which potentially lifesaving drugs are brought to market was a rallying cry for Donald Trump as a candidate, and is a stated priority of his Food and Drug Administration commissioner, Dr. Scott Gottlieb. ...

Dangers of commonly prescribed painkillers highlighted in study

December 6, 2017
Commonly prescribed painkillers need to be given for shorter periods of time to reduce the risk of obesity and sleep deprivation, a new study has revealed.

Viagra goes generic: Pfizer to launch own little white pill

December 6, 2017
The little blue pill that's helped millions of men in the bedroom is turning white. Drugmaker Pfizer is launching its own cheaper generic version of Viagra rather than lose most sales when the impotence pill gets its first ...

Surgery-related opioid doses can drop dramatically without affecting patients' pain

December 6, 2017
Some surgeons might be able to prescribe a third of opioid painkiller pills that they currently give patients, and not affect their level of post-surgery pain control, a new study suggests.

Four-fold jump in deaths in opioid-driven hospitalizations

December 4, 2017
People who end up in the hospital due to an opioid-related condition are four times more likely to die now than they were in 2000, according to research led by Harvard Medical School and published in the December issue of ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.