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Does my child need antibiotics for his runny nose?

With a runny nose, antibiotics are needed only if your healthcare provider tells you that your child has sinusitis. Your child’s healthcare provider may prescribe other medicine or give you tips to help with a cold’s other symptoms like fever and cough, but antibiotics are not needed to treat the runny nose.

Taking antibiotics when they are not needed can be harmful. Each time people take antibiotics, they are more likely to carry resistant germs in their noses and throats. These resistant germs cannot be killed by common antibiotics. Your child may need more costly antibiotics, antibiotics given by a needle, or may even need to be in the hospital to get antibiotics.

Since a runny nose almost always gets better on its own, it is better to wait and take antibiotics only when they are needed.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.