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Not to give the antibiotics?

(30 Posts)
megandraper Thu 18-Oct-12 12:14:53

Doctor has given DS2 antibiotics for tonsillitis, but am thinking about not giving them to him. Explanation below -

Took DS2 (age 3) to the doctor this morning. He's had a temperature for a couple of days, (been on Neurofen) and this morning a very sore throat, so he couldn't talk or even open his mouth and was dribbling hugely because he wasn't swallowing.

Doctor said he has tonsillitis, but it's not too bad, and she doesn't know why he's 'overreacting'. Prescribed antibiotics though.

Back home, I gave him the first antibiotic dose, but he dribbled most of it back out again because he couldn't swallow.

Anyway, a few hours later, he's talking again, not dribbling, and Neurofen/Calpol seem to be keeping it under control. We get tonsillitis quite often and I don't usually take the DCs to the doctor for it, (too many antibiotics not good) just wait it out and it's over in 2-3 days.

So AIBU to not give DS2 the antibiotics now? Even though he's had one dose (but dribbled nearly all of it back out)?

Sirzy Thu 18-Oct-12 12:17:58

If it is bad enough you decided to take him to the doctors and he was unable to swallow then I would carry on with the medicine

YABU - if he needs anti b's he needs them....doctors don't like prescribing them unless necessary.

Calpol will keep temp down and make him feel better for a bit but unless you give the anti b's he will keep going downhill. My DS when he has a throat infection always picks up in the mornings then late/afternoons and evenings goes right back down again.

Seriously, give him the anti b's or you will make him suffer far more than he needs to.

megandraper Thu 18-Oct-12 12:21:14

Yes, but he's got better without the medicine already Sirzy - to the level where I wouldn't have taken him to the doctor IYSWIM.

valiumredhead Thu 18-Oct-12 12:21:22

How is he tailing the Calpol and Nurofen then if he can't swallow? Is he just spitting the anti b's out because he doesn't like the taste?

The doctor has given him medicine - whey would you bother going at all if you weren't going to follow their advice? confused

Callisto Thu 18-Oct-12 12:22:50

If it is tonsilitis will it even be affected by the antibiotics, is it a bacterial infection? Drs in the UK massively over-prescribe antibios - I've had discussions with duty drs before now about why I would rather DD did not have them.

So I probably would hold off for a day and see how your son goes, but if you do properly start the course you absolutely must finish it. The reason for many bacterial strains becoming immune to antibios is because of stupid people not finishing the course and not properly killing off the infection.

Bed - he isn't better though, the calpol has just kicked in.

SugariceAndScary Thu 18-Oct-12 12:23:21

He had the first dose and he seemed better a few hours later. I know you said it dribbled back out but I would see them through, is it a 7 day course?

Goldenjubilee10 Thu 18-Oct-12 12:23:44

I would give them.

megandraper Thu 18-Oct-12 12:24:05

BettySwollocks - I think that only 30% of tonsillitis cases are due to bacteria. Antibiotics don't work on the 70% of cases that are viral. And taking unnecessary antibiotics is not good for the gut. (My DS2 has separate gut problems which make me particularly reluctant about this).

A doctor can't tell whether tonsillitis is bacterial or viral without doing a throat swab and sending it to the lab - they prescribe antibiotics 'just in case'. Some doctors won't prescribe them without doing the swab, which is probably the right thing to do.

valiumredhead Thu 18-Oct-12 12:24:30

I held off taking anti b's once and ended up with Quinsy (sp) - not nice and ill for 3 weeks.

valiumredhead Thu 18-Oct-12 12:25:39

So why did you take him to the surgery in the first place? confused It sounds like you have made your mind up anyway.

Well, your doctor obviously dishes them out easier than mine does......he hates giving them unless he absolutely has to!! My DS has had lots of ear/throat infections and when I don't get the anti b's for them straight away it just gets worse.

I don't know then ...maybe just hold off a day or so and see if he carries on getting better without permanently being dosed up on calpol as I can't imagine that helps his guts too much either.

valiumredhead Thu 18-Oct-12 12:27:39

I find it's really hard to get Anti B's these days too - they stopped all that dishing out for nothing years ago ime.

megandraper Thu 18-Oct-12 12:28:13

I don't know what the problem was with swallowing. It lasted for 2-3 hours - and that's why I took him to the doctor (at first I thought his tongue had swollen, but it was just that his mouth was full of chewed food that he hadn't swallowed from breakfast).

Now the swallowing is okay again, he's able to take Calpol/neurofen fine. I don't think it was the tiny bit of antibiotic that affected the swallowing - as I understand it, it takes 24-48 hours for antibiotics to have an effect.

Callisto - yes, I think I might do that - wait a day. I agree with you about the over-prescribing (have been lectured on this many times by a medic friend). I also know that once the course is started properly, I have to complete it - would never stop a course partway through.

I get where everyone else is coming from though. That's why I've posted, because I'm not 100% sure of the best thing to do for DS. If I felt the doctor was definitely right, I would give the antibiotics.

At the end of the day you know your DS better than the doc.....go with your gut instinct smile

BonaDea Thu 18-Oct-12 12:31:06


Pain relief won't touch the sides if it is a throat infection or tonsillitis

megandraper Thu 18-Oct-12 12:31:40

Yes, our doctors dishes out antibiotics really easily. Last winter, my DSs had 8-10 courses of antibiotics between them. Through the summer they had the same number of illnesses, but I didn't rush to the doctor so quickly and they didn't have the antibiotics, and recovered just as quickly.

If I thought the antibiotics would clear it up faster, I would give them. But it is probably viral (DS1 had it a few days ago and was better in 2 days without antibiotics). So the antibiotics won't work then.

valium - the quinsy sounds nasty. I wouldn't want to risk DS2 having that.

<still undecided what to do for best>

Spatsky Thu 18-Oct-12 12:31:43

Antibiotics are often prescribed to make the patient feel like they are being treated rather than medical need is my understanding.

Whenever i have been to docs with kids in similar situations do has always said it will almost certainly clear up on its own possibly as quickly as with the antibiotics but prescribe the antibiotics with the suggestin that I wait a couple of days to see if it starts getting better on its own before taking.

True reform based on advice. Have received I would be holding off n the antibiotics if its improving on its own but it's a personal call based on you beng the only one can see how bad your child is at the moment.

Fakebook Thu 18-Oct-12 12:38:08

Just give them to him, it may prevent an infection from starting. Having one course of ab's isn't going to render you resistant to every bacterial infection for life.

WillieWaggledagger Thu 18-Oct-12 12:38:50

it's up to you, but does he have 3 or 4 of:

- history of fever
- swollen neck glands
- no cough
- swollen tonsil(s) with white spots/streaks/coating

if yes then there's a reasonable chance of bacterial tonsillitis, and untreated this can get nasty (poor valium).

i'm taking ABs for group a strep tonsillitis at the moment (have had it for 10 days, taking Abs for 6) and i don't think the ABs will shorten the illness, but i'd hate for it to develop into something worse.

Fairylea Thu 18-Oct-12 12:47:51

Why wouldn't you ?

I would give them to him.

People get in such a pickle about anti biotics but I speak as someone who suffers with recurrent urine infections and having seen a urologist I was put on long term antibiotics with enough extra to self medicate to a higher dose as needed. I have done this most of my life and have no issues whatsoever.

Sometimes I do wonder if it's a cost issue... with the nhs prescribing them or not I mean. If bugs were genuinely becoming more resistant to antibiotics they would not be giving them out at all and certainly not in large amounts to people like me.

megandraper Thu 18-Oct-12 13:03:40

That's interesting, Willie. He doesn't have swollen neck glands, but yes to fever, no cough, and swollen tonsils with a couple of white spots. Hmmm.

Fairylea - the resistance to antibiotics is a real problem, I think! Not made up to save money...

Spatsky Thu 18-Oct-12 13:10:38

Fairylea my friend had to have constant antibiotics for recurring utis and suffered terribly with thrush throughout this time. I believe thrush is very common with antibiotics so that is one reason why women in particular would be keen to avoid antibiotics if not necessary.

Sorry, that was a bit of aside.

panicnotanymore Thu 18-Oct-12 13:11:43

If you have started the course you MUST finish it. If you don't there is a chance the bacteria will be able to build up resistance to the antibiotic which is a problem for everyone, not just your child.

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