Posted by: Tess | 2009-05-12

Antibiotics for URTI?

My son of 6 has what I believe is a cold and I kept him home from school yesterday and today, but because I need a doctor' s note, I took him to the doc. I was also concerned because he had bronchitis about 8 weeks ago and he has a cough. My concern is that I believe my doctor gives me an antibiotic " just in case" , whether it' s viral or bacterial.

Doc has diagnosed " acute upper respiratory infection - unspecified"  and has prescribed Orelox for 5 days.

Basically, his symptoms are:
- runny nose (clear yesterday, a little yellowish today)
- post nasal drip, causing a cough
- slightly red throat (due to cough)
- occassional earache (sinus build-up?)
- he complained of a sore chest when he coughed, but the doc says his chest sounds clear.
- he has NO temperature.
- is eating very well and is quite active.
- he has been in bed, but is playing board games, colouring in and building puzzles. He is not lethargic in any way.

How do I know if he really needs the antibiotic?

Thanks, Tess

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberDoc

Dear Tess
Most of the upper airway infections are caused by viruses. Specific diseases like tonsillitis, some middle ear infections and sinusitis are usually caused by bacteria. If he does not have a fever, and the throat does not have a yellow spots on the tonsils or swollen glands, you could wait a while before starting antibiotics. Unfortunately some viral infections tend to go over into secondary bacterial infections and then you have to use antibiotics
Dr Bets

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