The use of antibiotics cannot be justified to reduce the risk of serious complications associated with upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs), sore throats or otitis media, according to research published in BMJ online.
However, the authors of the research concluded that antibiotics substantially reduce the risk of pneumonia after chest infection, particularly in older people who are at greater risk of this complication.
The retrospective cohort study used data from the UK General Practice Research Database on 3.36 million episodes of respiratory tract infection.
Peterson, I. et al (2007) Protective effects of antibiotics against serious complications of common respiratory tract infections: retrospective cohort
study with the UK general practice database. BMJ online. DOI:10.1136/bmj.39345.405243.BE.