leaflets interactively in consultations is the best way to support effective discussions and maintain patient satisfaction.
Version 1.0, November 2021.
RTI Leaflet – HTML
- Your infection
- How to look after yourself and your family
- When to get help
- Consider COVID-19
- About antibiotics
- About this leaflet
Most are better by 8 days.
Most are better by 7-8 days.
Most are better by 14-21 days.
Most are better by 14 days.
Cough or bronchitis
Most are better by 21 days (a cough caused by COVID-19 may differ).
How to look after yourself and your family
- Have plenty of rest.
- Drink enough fluids to avoid feeling thirsty.
- Ask your local pharmacist to recommend medicines to help your symptoms or pain (or both).
- Fever is a sign the body is fighting the infection and usually gets better by itself in most cases. You can use paracetamol if you or your child are feeling uncomfortable as a result of a fever.
- Use a tissue and wash your hands with soap to help prevent spread of your infection to your family, friends and others you meet.
When to get help
Less serious signs that can usually wait until the next available appointment
- If you are not starting to improve a little by the time given in ‘Your infection’, above
- Children with middle-ear infection: if fluid is coming out of their ears or they have new deafness
- Mild side effects such as diarrhea: seek medical attention if you are concerned.
Advice about antibiotics
- Colds, most coughs, sinusitis, ear infections, sore throats, and other infections often get better without antibiotics, as your body can usually fight these infections on its own.
- Taking any antibiotics makes bacteria that live inside your body more resistant. This means that antibiotics may not work when you really need them.
- Antibiotics can cause side effects such as rashes, thrush, stomach pains, diarrhoea, reactions to sunlight, other symptoms, or being sick if you drink alcohol with metronidazole.
- Find out more about how you can make better use of antibiotics and help keep this vital treatment effective by visiting the NHS antibiotics webpages.
Never share antibiotics and always return any unused antibiotics to a pharmacy for safe disposal.
About this leaflet
TARGET is operated by the UK Health Security Agency. Developed in collaboration with professional medical bodies.
Published: November 2017
Review: November 2021