Waiting It Out is the Best Policy for Colds

According to a randomized, controlled trial, antibiotic treatment does not improve the sniffles and stuffiness (called acute rhinosinusitis) that often accompany a cold. Disease-specific quality of life as measured by the Sinonasal Outcome Test (SNOT-16) did not vary between antibiotic or placebo groups over a 10-day study period. Remember, most colds are caused by viruses, which do not respond to antibiotics. In fact, excessive use of medications contributes to antibiotic resistance.

PositiveTip: Watchful waiting after the onset of cold symptoms should be the norm–try to reduce antibiotic use.