Antibiotics...Yes? No?

  1. My doctor prescribes antibiotics when I have been sick with a cold for a week or so.
    I've been reading so much about antibiotic resistance and wonder if she is overdoing it.
    I've developed an allergy to two groups possibly because of overdoing it...not sure.
    Does your doctor prescribe antibiotics whenever you are sick with a cold/flu...I'm just wondering what the consensus is out there.
    Currently I'm on a Penicillin for ten days because I had the flu over a week ago and was still sick when I went to see her after a week. Does that make sense? It might be helping because I feel better but I'm wondering if I would have felt better anyways.
    Also, is there a definitive test to see if you have a virus or infection (need antibiotics).
  2. I shudder at antibiotics unless there clearly is a BACTERIAL (NOT VIRAL) infection that needs treatment. Why? First, it may not be a bacterial infection and secondly, even if it is, lots of people don't take the prescription as directed and stop when they start feeling better (rather than finish it off) or even some of the meds for another time when they're not feeling well? WTF?

    To answer your question, LH, NO, my doc does not prescribe antibiotics when I have a cold. A cold is a VIRUS. It has to go away on its own.

    Did your doctor explain what specifically she was going to treat with the penicillin?
  3. Are you serious? Any doctor that has gone through med school (AKA ALL OF THEM) should know that the common cold is almost always caused by the rhinovirus. Antibiotics kill bacteria. Not viruses. Basically, you are endangering yourself by taking penicillin.
    A common cold shouldn't last more than 14 days anyway, and frankly, it is not life-threatening so you should just tough it out. Take lots of vitamin C, get lots of rest, and drink lots of fluids. You will get over it soon enough.
  4. ^^ Couldn't say it better
  5. I agree that colds are viruses and antibiotics have no effect on viruses. YES, there are tests for bacterial infections. Unless there are dangerous symptoms (i.e. very high fever, shallow and rapid respiration, etc.), I don't even take my children to the dr. for a cold because there is nothing a dr. can do. Only when it doesn't go away or there are symptoms that indicate a bacterial infection do I take them in (my son has had bacterial pneumonia twice, but strep is another example).

    Antibiotic over use is DANGEROUS, not just for you, but for everyone. I'd find another dr.
  6. Are you sure that you have the flu? I know I've gone to my doctor feeling like I had a cold/flu and come out with antibiotics. I asked him about it once and he told me that I actually had strep throat, laryngitis or sinusitis those times. I agree that if he told you that you had a cold and still gave you antibiotics, that seems really off.

    I know most of the time, though, unless I ask what is wrong with me, my doctor will just write a prescription and send me on my way without ever telling me what exactly is going on.
  7. I wouldn't go to the dr for the cold/flu since like others have said a/b don't work on viruses.

    I'm not a dr, but when a patient goes to see the dr, IMO the patient has an expectation to come away with a prescription!!! That's not to say the patient doesn't have an illness associated with the cold/flu which could do with threatment with medicine.

    Your dr could have given you the prescription because you have another infection which can be treated with a/b or she gave it to you because you expect one! You should have asked her what she was prescribing medicince for.
  8. blood tests and throat swabs are the only sure way to check if you have more than the common cold. See another doctor maybe? and see what that have to say.
    I've been diagnosed with pnuemonia for the 2nd time in 6 months and am now on antibiotics btw.
  9. I am sure your doctor is knowledgeable enough to know what she is doing. My doctor is very reluctant to give out antibiotics but he does when, 1) the cold has gone on for over 10 days. 2) I show symptoms the same as other patients with a known bacterial infection in my area.
    Yes a cold is a virus but it does weaken the immune system making it more prone to attack by bacterial infections, it shouldnt last over 10 days and it is at this point the doctor may suspect bacterial infection.
    Please just ask your doctor when and why she gives you antibiotics. I certainly do, and I expect a decent answer when I do, I am the patient after all.
  10. My doctor rarely prescribes me antibiotics. I actually believe the only time that he has prescribed me abx was when I had a horrible ear infection, where i couldn't even hear. THe drops did nothing, the pills did nothing, but once I took those antibiotics, I was hearing better by the next day!
  11. I'm confused on the question. Are you asking us if you should take some? Give them out for Xmas next year??
    I feel, that when needed, and really, are only in specific cases, they're vital. I got bit by my cat a few weeks ago and within 12 hours of the bite, my finger was swollen, I couldn't move it, my arm was aching and I had red lines up my forearm. I went to the ER and have IV antibiotics to kill the BACTERIA, and now I'm fine. If I didn't go, I could have lost my finger to infection.
    If your doc is giving you antibiotics for a viral infection, I think it's time to get a new doc. There's really no cure for a cold, rather things you can do to help strengthen your immune system to help your body fight it better and get well sooner.
  12. Also, is it necessary to go to the doctor everytime you have a cold? I personally NEVER go to the doctor when I have a cold, simply's a cold, I know it's a cold, so what are they gonna tell me? I go and get OTC tylenol cold medications, get some lozenges, load up on the vitamins and voila! Also taking that many antibiotics is destroying your system, as you will get sick more and more often. You must supplement with a probiotic. Take one daily anyways... I haven't been sick for the past year...that's what i do.
  13. I would personally be finding myself a new physician. As everyone else has said, an antibiotic is useless against a common cold. Unless a patient has a known bacterial infection, antibiotics really should be avoided.
    This is one of the reasons why we have these superbugs, like MRSA, in our society today because too many antibiotics are prescribed when they are not even needed. With these viruses, you really just have to wait it out.
  14. Thanks everyone I totally agree witih you. I am getting worried about this antibiotic a quick fix or something. When I do go to the doctor she always counts the days that I've been sick. I think if it's over a week or ten days she prescribes them. Currently I'm on antibiotics and am on the fifth day so I should finish them even if what I have isn't an confused right now. BTW...after two days I was feeling better so that might have been the medicine working?
  15. Yes...I remember she said that the upper respiratory stuff I am feeling was going on too long (more that seven days). She said that at first it is a virus and then develops into an infection.