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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Can antibiotics be given for treating cold and chesty cough in an infant?

Answered by
Dr. Pradeep Kumar

Pediatrician, Cardiology

Practicing since :2006

Answered : 1971 Questions

Posted on Thu, 4 Oct 2018 in Child Health
Question: Hi doctor my baby has a bad flu and a chesty cough can I give him anti biotic. My baby is 9 months old.
Answered by Dr. Pradeep Kumar 1 hour later
Brief Answer:

Antibiotic is needed if we are suspecting any bacterial infection.

Detailed Answer:


Thanks for asking on this platform.

Most of the time cough and cold with noisy breathing in this age is due to some viral infection.

Antibiotic is of no help in such condition.

Fever of very high grade and persisting longer (more than 72 hours) with breathing difficulty, poor feeding all these goes in favor of bacterial infection.

Once bacterial infection is suspected better to send blood investigations to rule out bacterial infection.

Based on reports or on suspicion only antibiotic can be given.

Here I would like to know
1. For how long baby is symptomatic?
2. Is there any breathing difficulty?
3. Is there persistent fever or poor feeding?

Antibiotic is not the solution of chesty cough. Baby may need nebulisation with cough medication based on symptoms.

I request you to send me the details so that I better able to help you out.

Hope I have answered your query. Also let me know if I can assist you further.

Dr. Pradeep Kumar, Pediatrician, Cardiology
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Kampana
Follow up: Dr. Pradeep Kumar 34 minutes later
Hi so the baby has been having a mild fever for about 3 days he doesn’t have any problem with feeding he is eating well. He has a very chesty cough like a mucous cough he’s breathing well maybe while sleeping he’s breathing from nose. Flu symptoms have been developing as he has a runny nose.
Answered by Dr. Pradeep Kumar 58 minutes later
Brief Answer:

I would suggest for cough medication and observation.

Detailed Answer:


Thanks for follow up!

Based on symptoms I don't think it is to be due to bacterial infection.

Here I would like to give cough syrup containing mucolytic (sputum thinning agent) like Ambroxol with Levosalbutamol (a bronchodilator which helps in relieving airway spasm and clearing of mucus).

You may give drops/syrup containing antiallergic like Chlorpheniramine with decongestant like Phenylephrine (helps in relieving nasal congestion) along with cough syrup for early relief.

As fever is mild and otherwise child is active, feeding well without any breathing difficulty chance of having bacterial infection is less, so antibiotic will not help much.

Some pediatricians give antibiotic just as a prophylaxis (to be on safer side) which I personally don't suggest.

The above medications are prescription medicine so get it prescribed by a pediatrician.

I hope this helps.

Dr. Pradeep Kumar, Pediatrician, Cardiology

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

The User accepted the expert's answer

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