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Can tetracycline be given in viral fever?

Q: Is tetracycline safe to administer as I have heard that it has serious side effects on kidney and liver? My doctor recently prescribed tetracycline + paracetamol + cetrizine when I had fever, sore throat, cold and body ache, which I thought was viral fever. How can we distinguish between bacterial and viral fever? Is it OK to give a strong antibiotic in viral fever?

A:Tetracycline is a very old antibiotic. With the availability of more efficacious and safer antibacterials, tetracycline is hardly ever used. Currently it is permitted to be used only in exacerbations of chronic bronchitis (in smokers), brucellosis and in pulmonary problems in cancer patients. It has no role in sore throat or fever. No antibiotic is effective in viral infections; hence there is no benefit in administering such drugs. In fact they are harmful because they cause side effects.

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