A Guide to Understanding Your Symptoms

Is you cold, sore throat, earache or cough getting you down?

Get the right relief for your symptoms. Upper Respiratory Tract infections can affect everyone slightly differently. Your pharmacist can recommend specific products to treat your specific symptoms.


Understand your symptoms

A runny or blocked nose, sore throat, sinus pain, cough and earache are all symptoms of an upper respiratory tract (upper airway) infection. This is most likely to be caused by coming into contact with a virus.

  • Your immune system can respond to infection
  • Antibiotics are not recommended for most upper respiratory tract infections

A guide to understanding your symptoms


Relief is as easy as 1,2,3:

1. Assess your symptoms

Help your pharmacist by providing a description of your symptoms and concerns, and make them aware of any existing medical conditions.

2. Beat your symptoms

Ask your pharmacist for suitable medicines and formulations to treat your specific symptoms. Your pharmacist can also advise on symptoms that mean you should see the doctor.

3. Care for yourself

Drink plenty of fluids, get more rest and make sue you get medicines that suit you best - there are formulations available for most people.

If you symptoms do not improve, or if you develop new symptoms, contact your doctor for more advice.


Do I need anti-biotics?

Antibiotics are not recommended for most upper respiratory tract infections.

  • Infections are caused by viruses - unfortunately anti-biotics won't work against viruses
  • Antibiotics won't make you feel better any faster and may cause unpleasant side effects, such as diahorrea, thrush or rash.
  • Taking antibiotics may disruptthe balance between good and bad bacteria in your gut, this balance is important for a healthy immune system.

It is normal for upper respiratory tract infections to take a while to clear up.

Most symptoms are due to your body's response to fighting infection. To help you start feeling better, you can treat your symptoms.


Don't help bugs become super-bugs

Superbugs can develop as a result of using too many antibiotics. Bacteria can adapt and survive against the antibiotics, creating superbugs that are too powerful for antibiotics to work. This is known as antibiotic resistance.

  • Carrying resistant bacteria means antibiotics might not work for you in the future
  • Resistance to antibiotics is a growing global problem and it will make treatment of infections much harder

Did you know? You can carry resistant bacteria for up to one year after taking an antibiotic. That's why it's best to use antibiotics only when you really need them.