Antibiotics for Viral Upper Respiratory Tract Infections in Children
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Antibiotic therapy does not benefit children with bronchiolitis, the common cold, or nonstreptococcal pharyngitis. If purulent rhinitis is present for more than 10 days, antibiotics shorten the duration of runny nose symptoms. (Strength of Recommendation [SOR]: A, based on systematic reviews of randomized controlled trials [RCTs].) Using strategies that delay or avoid antibiotic prescription for viral upper respiratory tract infections will significantly reduce antibiotic use without increasing long-term complications. (SOR: A, based on a systematic review of RCTs including patients of all ages.)
American Family Physician, 84(8) 2011.