Can I get an antibiotic for a cold?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 9,334
    Dr. Ronald Turner, Professor of Pediatrics, UVA, Virginia School of Medicine discusses hot to get an antibiotic for a cold.

    Dr. Ronald Turner

    Ronald Turner, MD, is Professor of Pediatrics and Associate Dean for Clinical Research at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. Dr. Turner earned his MD degree from Southern Illinois University and did his training in Pediatrics and Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Columbus Children’s Hospital (Ohio State University) and the University of Virginia. He subsequently served in faculty positions at the University of Utah and the Medical University of South Carolina. In addition to his administrative role at the University of Virginia, Dr. Turner has clinical care and teaching responsibilities in General Pediatrics and Pediatric Infectious Diseases. His research interests are directed at the pathogenesis and treatment of viral respiratory infections.

    Host: Can I get an antibiotic for a cold?

    Ronald Turner: Well, antibiotics really are not useful for colds. Colds are caused by viruses. There are no antibiotics to treat the viruses that cause colds. So, from that perspective, antibiotics are not useful. Antiviral drugs which potentially might be useful for common colds are -- there is some limited availability. Really, the only poise that we have anything like that is for influenza. There are some drugs that are available for influenza. But, most people would not really seek those drugs for treatment of common cold symptoms. Those are generally going to be reserved for individuals who have typical flu, more severe disease.