Do I need an antibiotic?

How long should I wait before I ask for an antibiotic?

How long will my infection last?

Managing Your Infection Illness Duration

Cough or bronchitis      3 weeks

Common cold                2 weeks

Sore throat                     7-8 days

Middle ear infection     3-4 days

Sinusitis                          2 weeks

Flu                                    2 weeks

Nasal congestion           2 weeks


Higher risk groups

You are at a higher risk of infection and more likely to need an antibiotic if you are

Over 75yrs old

Baby <72 hours old or at high risk of developing infection (premature, hole in the heart)

Have an existing illness:

Heart failure
Insulin controlled diabetes
Weak immune system
Haematology patients
No spleen
Liver cirrhosis

Please insist on an appointment if you have a temperature, feel unwell and fall into any of the above categories.

Antibiotic Prescribing

These leaflets are helpful in deciding whether you or your child needs to see a GP

Caring for children with coughs

And when to see the doctor…worrying symptoms

When should I worry about my child?

Available in other languages

The ‘When Should I Worry?’ booklet provides information for parents about the management of respiratory tract infections such as coughs, colds, sore throats and ear aches in children. It is designed to be shared in consultations.