Luton Clinical Commissioning Group

NHS Luton Clinical Commissioning Group


BLOG: Dr Chirag Bakhai talks about treating colds and flu at home

29 January 2018

BLOG: Dr Chirag Bakhai, Clinical Director at Luton Clinical Commissioning Group and local GP talks about treating colds and flu.

During the course of an average day working as a GP in Luton, it is common to see people requesting antibiotics to treat viral infections like colds and the flu.

Antibiotics do not work against these illnesses. Their use may instead give side effects, like sickness and diarrhoea, destroy the ‘good bacteria’ in the gut, and worsen the problem of antibiotic resistance.

To aid your recovery at home with colds or flu you should:
•get lots of rest and sleep
•keep warm and avoid going out unnecessarily
•drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration – make sure your pee is light yellow or clear
•only use paracetamol or ibuprofen if you need to treat aches and pains. Unless you are pregnant, do not use these routinely for reducing a fever as this may interfere with the natural immune response and delay recovery

The majority of people are ableto fight off infections like colds and the flu without any medications at all.The immune system is well designed to do this. However, your local pharmacistcan advise you on any remedies which may improve your symptoms.

If you have the flu, there are a fewsituations where it may be advisable to seek advice from your GP practice or call NHS111. They include if:
•your symptoms are not showing any improvement after 7 days (or getting worse)
•you’re worried about your child’s symptoms
•you’re aged 65 or over
•you’re pregnant
•you have a long-term medical condition – e.g. diabetes or a heart, lung, kidney or neurological disease
•you have a weakened immune system – e.g. due to chemotherapy or steroid medication

Visit the treating common illnesses at home page of NHS Choices:
Or for colds and flu, watch the video here:

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