The Anti-anitbiotics movement

18 02 2008

Using three boxes of Kleenex in one day prompted a trip to Prompt Care. I have a sinus infection.

The doctor who saw me was very nice, and told me to take ibuprofen, use a saline nose spray and fill a prescription for Entex.

He proceeded to explain to me that he couldn’t give me an antibiotic because it could give me a rash or yeast infection. I did not ask for an antibiotic. I just assume that whatever a medical professional tells me to do to get over whatever is ailing me will work, and follow their instructions.

The last time I went to Prompt Care, a different doctor volunteered that I couldn’t have an antibiotic. Again, I did not ask. She explained that I really didn’t need one and my body could build up immunity to antibiotics and they would not work as well in the future.
I doubt think there are a lot of penicillin junkies out there. I wonder if the doctors get a lot of grief over not prescribing antibiotics. Perhaps some patients think that antibiotics are the cure all and get upset when they don’t get the treatment that they think will help them out the best.
Me, I will continue to follow doctor’s orders and hope my sinuses stop hurting when I breathe. I really don’t want to become a mouth breather, ala Darth Vader.

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10 responses

18 02 2008
Katie

Ugh…me too…I have been on decongestants for about 24 hours and have had little relief. I hate that!

The ‘no antibiotic’ thing for a sinus infection is a little weird. I can see if you just had some congestion and pressure…but if there is an active infection, wouldn’t an antibiotic help?

I’m no doctor, but I have had more than my fair share of sinus infections and once it hits ‘infection’ the doc busts out the antibiotics. But not anytime before that.

I hope you get feeling better soon!

19 02 2008
Megan

I used to work for the health department, and you would be surprised at the number of people who demand antibiotics. They believe that unless they get a prescription, the doctor does not take them seriously.

Antibiotics work very well for bacterial infections, but not at all for viral infections like colds and many other winter illnesses. If you have a virus, there is nothing you can do except wait for your body to fight it off. That might take a week or so, or even longer if you have a nasty infection like influenza.

I know, it sucks. It’s so reassuring to pop a pill, but if it doesn’t help, there’s no point in taking it and it could actually do more harm than good.

19 02 2008
i do not know me

Megan is right. Many people for years have demanded a pill regardless of whether it would help. Doctors went along with it since it made the patients happy. Well, we are all suffering the result of that now: antibiotic resistant bacteria. Every time someone takes an antibiotic we are just “thinning the herd” of bacteria, killing off the weakest ones and leaving the strongest, most antibiotic resistant ones to survive and multiply. I am not opposed to using antibiotics (and sinus infections are a particularly good use for them), but they have been used far too liberally in the past and only now have we wised up enough to reign things in.

19 02 2008
Geggie

I’m a mouth breather too, right now. Really, the thing that helps me most is a neti pot. Seriously, it helps so much!

19 02 2008
newsanchormom.com

I am in this boat too. I haven’t been to the doctor. Sometimes sinus infections go away on their own. I have chronic sinusitis, so I actually try not to take antibiotics. Otherwise, I would be on them every month and they probably wouldn’t work anymore!

19 02 2008
Secret Server

I hope you get well! Now! (apology to Jennifer for stealing her Demetri Martin joke. I personally hate to take antibiotics because I think it messes with the good bacteria in my body, but also I worry about the “big picture” and the creation of resistant bacteria. It makes sense to me.

19 02 2008
Jennifer

Newsanchormom,
My daughter is in the same position. I think she has spent more of her life with a sinus infection than without. We usually just treat the symptoms and hope the sinus infection goes away on it’s own. If it lingers too long or is bad enough for her to miss school (more than a day) then we go to the doctor and consider an antibiotic.
I think otherwise she’d be brewing a sinus infection superbug….
Jennifer

19 02 2008
Bibliolatrist

You’ve won my “You Make My Day” award. Congrats!

(But don’t feel obligated to pass it on 🙂

20 02 2008
newsanchormom.com

Jennifer,
I think having a little one with chronic sinusitis has got to be worse. I often wonder if I had it when I was little too because I always had sore throats..Hmmm..

21 02 2008
Cory

The problem is all of the advertising on TV and in print has led people to believe they know exactly what medications they need. I personally try to avoid antibiotics whenever possible because of the possibility of creating resistant strains of bacteria. MRSA probably wouldn’t exist if not for antibiotics being used as a panacea.

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