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

Rapid response inpatient education boosts use of needed blood-thinning drugs

November 16, 2018
A new study designed to reach hospitalized patients at risk shows that a "real-time" educational conversation, video or leaflet can lower the missed dose rates of drugs that can prevent potentially lethal blood clots in their ...

Drug overdose epidemic goes far beyond opioids, requires new policies

November 7, 2018
Most government-funded initiatives to address the overdose epidemic in the United States have targeted opioids specifically and have neglected other drugs that are increasingly implicated in overdoses, such as cocaine and ...

Zebrafish larvae help in search for appetite suppressants

November 2, 2018
Researchers at the University of Zurich and Harvard University have developed a new strategy in the search for psychoactive drugs. By analyzing the behavior of larval zebrafish, they can filter out substances with unwanted ...

FDA OKs powerful opioid pill as alternative to IV painkiller

November 2, 2018
U.S. regulators on Friday approved a fast-acting, super-potent opioid tablet as an alternative to IV painkillers used in hospitals.

Amphetamine-related hospitalizations surged between 2003 and 2015

November 2, 2018
An analysis conducted by Hennepin Healthcare, University of Minnesota School of Public Health and University of Michigan researchers shows amphetamine-related hospitalizations increased more than 270 percent from 2008 to ...

Cocaine-fentanyl overdoses underscore need for more 'test strips' and rapid response

November 1, 2018
Penn Medicine emergency department physicians are calling for more readily available testing strips to identify the presence of fentanyl in patients experiencing a drug overdose, and a rapid, coordinated response among health ...

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.