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Pediatrics/Antibiotics bad for health?


Hello Doctor,

I am Sudha from Chennai and this is regarding my 5year old daughter.

She frequently gets cold n cough. Most of the times, with just Citrezine syrup, she is not getting cured. So I give her antibiotics also along with it. Azithromysin or amoxyline etc for 5 days, twice a day.

My doubt is is it harmful or not advisable to give anti-biotics frequently? Say I gave antibiotics last month for 5 days and again this month she got cold and can I give her antibiotics again this month?

Please advice.


Hi Sudha,

Yes, unnecessary use of ANY medicine, including antibiotics, should always be avoided as it does more harm than good.

Most cold and coughs in children are viral, and antibiotics have NO ROLE in viral infections. If your doctor prescribes antibiotics everytime the child has cough and cold, I would strongly advise to look for a better doctor in your area, since the doctor is not doing justice to your child.

IF, on the other hand, you are using antibiotics on your own without consulting a doctor, then I am sorry, you are not doing justice to the little one who has no choice but to trust you. You breach this trust everytime you give ANY medicine (including cough and cold medicines which are schedule "H" drugs: to be taken strictly under medical supervision) to the little one without consulting a doctor... (I have purposely said all this since I often see antibiotics and even cough and cold medicines taken very lightly by's great to hear from parents like you who have raised such an important question)

Best wishes,
Dr. Puneet Kumar,
Kumar Child Clinic, Dwarka,
New Delhi, India

+91-9818356846, +91-11-45535647  


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Dr. Puneet Kumar


I would be happy to answer general queries on prevention and treatment of ailments in newborn, infant, toddler, child or an adolescent. Needless to say, it will not be possible to answer any query that requires diagnosing, since it is not possible to examine a child online.


I have worked in various capacities (medical officer, resident, senior resident, consultant) in public as well as private sector in Pediatrics and Neonatology. Today, I have over 17 years of experience in the field.

Currently, I am running my own clinic (Kumar Child Clinic) in Dwarka, New Delhi and am attached to Lifeline Hospital, Dwarka as consultant pediatrics and neonatology. I am also developing my clinic website into a comprehensive child health/ parenting website (

(a) Chapter "National Immunization Schedule" in Frontiers of Social Pediatrics, Jaypee Publishers: 2nd edition, 2016. (b) Article, "All about Pertussis vaccines" in special issue of Indian Journal of Practical Pediatrics, July-Sept 2015 (c) Three chapters (DTP vaccines, Pneumococcal vaccines and Poliovirus vaccines) in "Textbook of Pediatrics for Post-graduates" First edition: 2015. (c) Chapter: "Alternative delivery methods of vaccines" in IAP textbook of Vaccines, First edition, 2014 (published by IAP/ Jaypee Brothers) (d) Special Article: "50 years of Immunization in India: Progress and Future" in January 2013 issue of Indian Pediatrics (e) Four chapters in "FAQ: Book on Vaccines and Immunization Practices" First edition, 2011 AND 2nd edition, 2015 published by Jaypee Brothers. (f) Three articles in special issue of Journal of Pediatric Sciences on “Controversies and Challenges in Pediatric Vaccination Today" in Sept, 2010. Co-edited the series also. (f) Regular column, “How do I treat” in Pediascene ( (g) Review article, “Role of Anti-Poliovirus Agents in Polio eradication and beyond” in Polio Pulse, April, 2008. (h) Chapter on “Acute Infectious Diarrhea” in Textbook of Infectious Diseases in Children. (An IAP Publication), 2007. 2nd edition in 2011. (i) Book-Review (IAP Pediatric Drug Formulary, 2004) in Pediascene, March 2005 ( ) (j) Case-report on Osteopetrosis. Jharkhand Journal of Pediatrics, Dec-2002.

After MBBS, I have done DNB residency in Pediatrics.

Awards and Honors
Winner of IAP practising pediatrician's quiz in 2001.

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