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 Illnesses and Antibiotic Resistance

Runny Nose

A runny nose runny nose with green or yellow drainage is a common symptom of a chest cold or acute bronchitis.

On this page:
Will antibiotics help?
What can you do if you have a runny nose?

Will antibiotics help?

  • No.
  • An antibiotic will not help.
  • A runny nose is a common symptom of a chest cold or acute bronchitis.
  • A runny nose may begin with clear drainage then turn to yellow or green drainage.
  • Color changes in nasal mucous are a good sign that your body is fighting the virus.

What can you do if you have a runny nose?

  • You need lots of extra rest.
  • Drink plenty of fluids (especially water) and eat healthy foods.
  • Keep your head propped up when resting.
  • Keep your home smoke-free.
  • Saline nose drops may help relieve symptoms.
  • Take decongestants* for a stuffy nose.
    * Follow package directions for age & dose or your health care providers’ instructions.
  • A cool mist vaporizer may help too.


  • If a runny nose is not getting better at all after 10 - 14 days
    or if other symptoms develop, call your health care provider.