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Using antibiotics out of my cupboard

(71 Posts)
appletarts Sat 16-Mar-13 08:43:43

I've got antibiotics left over from mastitis in my cupboard and I just know I've got tonsillitis starting. I know doc won't prescribe because I'm not yet on my knees but I've had it before and know where this is heading. I have 2 small children and absolutely no support if I am ill except hubby who will be back at work. The antibiotics are also prescribed for tonsillitis, do I take them?????

Cherriesarelovely Sat 16-Mar-13 08:45:14

I would. I'm not a medical expert by any means but as long as they are in date yes I would. I feel for you, it is horrible being ill (especially with tonsillitis) when you have little ones.

kinkyfuckery Sat 16-Mar-13 08:45:14

You have a whole course of antiobiotics just sitting around?

Don't take them, you obviously don't know how to use them properly.

Cherriesarelovely Sat 16-Mar-13 08:47:42

Well, to be fair, I was once taking part in a race that was very important to me (raising money for charity- not Olympic standard!). I had been having urinary infections, it cleared up but the nurse gave me another course just in case it started once I was away for the race. How is that different?

DesperatelyChasingBloodyDog Sat 16-Mar-13 08:49:00

Anti-Bs only work if you take the whole dose, now if you have leftover that might not be enough to treat the tonsilitis and you did not take then for long enough to treat the mastitis.
So I would say YABU and irresponsible as well.

KittyMcAllister Sat 16-Mar-13 08:50:16

Healthcare professional here - I wouldn't take ab's that haven't been prescribed for a particular problem. They might have worked in the past but might not be appropriate this time. Also, you are meant to finish any course of antibiotics even once the infection seems to have cleared up, and not have any "left over" - that's how resistance develops.

ilovechips Sat 16-Mar-13 08:53:36

They may not be the right antibiotics for tonsillitis. Not all antibiotics are best for all infections. Non-completion of a course of antibiotics is another reason for growing resistance to many antibiotics. Taking the wrong antibiotics may mask the symptoms but not cure the infection. Most cases of tonsillitis will get better without antibiotic intervention. So lots of reasons why i personally wouldn't!

r3dsquirrel Sat 16-Mar-13 08:53:56

The reason your doctor would be unlikely to prescribe you antibiotics is because most cases of tonsillitis are viral and antibiotics won't help. Taking unnecessary antibiotics or taking them for inadequate lengths of time is what causes antibiotic resistance and the emergence of the so called 'superbugs' you hear so much about these days. Take paracetamol, drink plenty of fluids and see your doctor if you aren't improving in 3-4 days.

appletarts Sat 16-Mar-13 08:53:57

Once mastitis has cleared its cleared, that was ages ago and so I didn't finish course and it didn't come back. Normally wouldn't but desperate measures.

atacareercrossroads Sat 16-Mar-13 08:54:11

Ive done this, the only problem was when they didn't work,went to docs and guess what he prescribed the ones I had just finished doh!

DrGoogleWillSeeYouNow Sat 16-Mar-13 08:58:14

Unless you've got a medical degree you're not telling us about, YABU to decide to overrule a doctors decision on whether you should complete a course of prescribed antibiotics, then decide that you will take those leftover antibiotics for a completely different health complaint.

IwishIwasmoreorganised Sat 16-Mar-13 08:59:37

No early, if you're ill enough to need antibiotics then they should be prescribed by a medical professional for the problem that you have at this point in time.

Your mastitis may have cleared up and not come back - you were fortunate. If you are prescribed antibiotics then you have an obligation to complete the course as I'm sure the Dr and pharmacist would have told you. Without doing this, we run this risk of having more and more resistant bugs. This is becoming a real issue and soon, even simple everyday operations will carry much higher risks as a result of infections which we are unable to treat.

Please behave responsibly.

Sirzy Sat 16-Mar-13 09:03:13

You still haven't got a full course to take now.

YABU and daft

r3dsquirrel Sat 16-Mar-13 09:05:13

'once mastitis has cleared its cleared'

No actually. Just because your symptoms have resolved dosnt mean all of the bacteria have gone. That's why you are prescribed a 'course' of antibiotics, the length of which will have been determined by trials looking at the use of a particulate drug in a particular condition. Not completing the course leaves low levels of bacteria alive which have 'met' your antibiotic and can go on to develop resistance..... putting you in a difficult situation should your condition recur or relapse.

The dose of antibiotic you have and the number of days worth may not be sufficient to treat a bacterial tonsillitis (if that's what you have..... which is unlikely). It's actions like this that result in people presenting with resistant infections a few years down the line. It might seem like a small thing to you but silly decisions like this actually have a massive impact on a global scale.

cozietoesie Sat 16-Mar-13 09:06:33


You clearly don't understand how antibiotics work and your attitude, if typical, is one of the reasons we're all in such trouble with ABs no longer working due to immunity.

To put it in 'big hand at two and little hand at four' language.

Antibiotics will clear up the initial symptoms fairly fast but you'll still have little blighters swilling around in your blood stream although you don't know it. They'll be sick and probably fairly quiescent - but still there. You stop the ABs and some of them recover - with immunity to the ABs because they've been through it and are still alive. If you pass on that infection somehow, you're passing on an infection which is therefore immune to the AB you took.

And now you're planning, of necessity to do the same thing again ? (Because if you have 'leftovers' it won't be enough of an extended does to kill off the infection you have in its entirety.


OneHandFlapping Sat 16-Mar-13 09:06:33

You're supposed to finish the course, even when the symptoms have cleared, so you shouldn't even have any just in the cupboard.

It's cavalier attitudes to antibiotics that have fuelled the evolution of drug resitant bugs.

cozietoesie Sat 16-Mar-13 09:07:26

Sorry - x post.

TandB Sat 16-Mar-13 09:08:10

That would be a really daft thing to do. For a start it might not be tonsillitis, it might just be a really sore throat. I'm prone to tonsillitis and can't always tell when it's that or something else.

Secondly, you need the right antibiotics. I've just had penicillin for tonsillitis and have had to go onto a completely different sort for the chest infection and pleurisy that developed while I was on the first set - the penicillin didn't touch it.

Thirdly, you won't have a full set and are likely to do more harm than good.

A really good natural remedy for a very sore throat is a gargle of cayenne pepper. It doesn't half sting but it strips all the gunk off your throat - it's the most instant relief I've found for anything. I used to use it during my pregnancies when I couldn't take much medication. Even my anti-anything-that-doesn't-come-off-a-pharmacy-shelf DP tried it and admitted it worked.

VerySmallSqueak Sat 16-Mar-13 09:09:03

I've done it in the past - I always save any antibiotics that aren't used for whatever reason just in case.
I would never tell anyone else to do it - but I'll take any old antibiotics lying around,because my GP won't prescribe easily,and I can't afford to be taking too much time off work,as well as having children to look after.

Some of us just can't 'come back in a few days if things haven't improved,.
I won't take anti b's if I don't need them,but as an asthmatic I know when I've got a chest infection and need them,and I could just cry when I'm left to get really poorly,when I could have headed it off early.

Please don't anyone else take that as an ok to do it though.

Pendipidy Sat 16-Mar-13 09:09:47

Op , do you understand now how you are supposed to take antibiotics?

GrowSomeCress Sat 16-Mar-13 09:10:59

Oh jeez now we know why there is such a massive problem with AB resistance

cozietoesie Sat 16-Mar-13 09:12:11

Then you shouldn't mention it, VerySmallSqueak. That is a really irresponsible attitude and one that you - as an asthmatic - should abhor. What are you going to do 10 years down the line if there are no working antibiotics left for an infection you develop?

And I'm not being alarmist. This is really happening out there.

VerySmallSqueak Sat 16-Mar-13 09:14:21

Perhaps we could do with improving the support networks so people aren't feeling the need to do this.

If sick isn't paid but the wage is needed it's not so easy to wait it out.

If kids need looking after but there is no childcare support available it's not so easy to wait it out.

I completely understand and agree with what's being said,but sometimes it's hard to 'do the right thing'.

noblegiraffe Sat 16-Mar-13 09:15:54

Our children are going to die of simple infections because antibiotics don't work any more because of people doing exactly what you've done and are planning on doing.

Thanks for that.

ginmakesitallok Sat 16-Mar-13 09:17:14

VerySmallSqueak - maybe if you finished the prescribed course of abs your infection would be less likely to return?? DD2 was prescribed abs on Monday - 10 day course. She seems fine now - but unfortunately we have to persist for another week. That's the way abs work properly

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