Have you got a cough or cold?
Maybe you should think about treating it with good ol’ fashioned honey…that’s according to recent guidance by Public Health England (PHE) and the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE)
GPs like myself are being urged to encourage patients to use self care products to tackle those nasty bugs!
Self care products such as honey and over the counter cough mixtures including Beechams and Lemsip can be the key to tackle those nasty colds. They can help treat coughs and colds but also reduce the need for antibiotics.
Dr Tessa Lewis, a GP and chairwoman of the antimicrobial prescribing guidelines group, sums up the general management well.
“If someone has a runny nose, sore throat and cough, we would expect the cough to settle over two to three weeks and antibiotics are not needed.”
“If the cough is getting worse rather than better, or the person feels very unwell or breathless, then they would need to contact their GP.”
So why is reducing the prescriptions of antibiotics a good thing, well its simple.
Taking antibiotics when you dont need them puts you and your family at risk of developing infections which are difficult to treat. It can have all sorts of nasty side effects including diarrhoea and nausea to name but a few.
You can also increase the likelihood of developing an antibiotic resistance. Which basically means when your older and genuinely in need of antibiotics to treat an infection, the antibiotics may not be as effective in treating the infection, if at all.
So that old saying you’ve heard over and over was right. Take a spoonful of honey for that cold.
By Dr Ashish Srivastava