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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?????

r3dsquirrel Sat 16-Mar-13 22:57:15

appletarts.... white 'bumps' on your tonsils often indicates tonsillitis. However, most tonsillitis is caused by a virus and not a bacteria. The white spots just mean your tonsils are inflamed and fighting infection. Not that you need antibiotics. If you don't have a fever its unlikely that you have a bacterial.tonsillitis so you've done the right thing in not taking the antibiotics. Tonsil stones don't present as white bumps.

Lonecatwithkitten Sat 16-Mar-13 22:40:03

It's all to do with the pharmacokinetics enabling sustained minimum inhibitory levels in the blood stream for a certain length.

Animation Sat 16-Mar-13 22:10:54

Appletarts - take no notice of the harsher tones on here. Yes it is tempting to take antibiotics that you've got in when you're struggling with your throat and have small kids to look after. I've done it - taken antibiotics that I have in and felt much better and relieved of such nasty symptoms. We do what we do to get by best we can.

Lucyellensmum95 Sat 16-Mar-13 21:42:04

lonecat how do those ABs work (genuine interest)

HappySeven Sat 16-Mar-13 21:35:25

It could be tonsil stones. Also, most tonsillitis is viral so antibiotics won't help. It starts to clear up at about the time AB start to 'kick in' so most people assume the AB help. They don't.

appletarts Sat 16-Mar-13 20:55:13

I imagine this is a bit boring to other people! I didn't take the antibiotics and I don't think I have tonsillitis because I didn't develop a fever but I have white bumps on my tonsils. I'm all worried about getting ill, has anyone ever had these white bumps and it not been tonsillitis?

oldraver Sat 16-Mar-13 16:07:43

It is because of idiots like you that anti-biotics are starting to loose their efficacy.

Lonecatwithkitten Sat 16-Mar-13 15:55:03

The pharmacokinetics required if antibiotics to treat mastitis are very different of those needed for tonsillitis. Plus if a course is not completed for mastitis you can get sub clinical mastitis that is the big is sequestered with no outward signs for a while till it flares back up again.
The latest stake holder meeting on antibiotic use found that the single biggest cause of resistance is poor compliance that is not finishing courses, not taking the course as prescribed for the condition it was prescribed for.
One single person keeping antibiotics and the reusing them would not cause a problem, however thousands all doing the same does. The butterfly effect.
There is work to produce antibiotics that force us to comply single dose gives the entire course - it is here in veterinary medicine and it's coming to human medicine.

RocknRollNerd Sat 16-Mar-13 15:40:23

toobreathless thank you for posting the NICE guidelines, I've just read up on the Centor criteria and now understand why DS does get prescribed anti-b's when he gets tonsillitis.

Lueji Sat 16-Mar-13 14:59:08

I initially thought this was a wind up thread after the other one about antibiotics...

Coffeenowplease Sat 16-Mar-13 13:51:23

I cant believe people can be this stupid. Ofcourse you dont take them for something else when you dont even have the full course or know whether they are the correct one.s. You shouldnt have them left over in the first place as you should have finished the course. No wonder we have so many problems with antibiotic resistance.

Montybojangles Sat 16-Mar-13 12:45:45

The majority of tonsillitis cases are viral rather than bacterial infections, so antibiotics would be pointless and the throat will improve regardless over 3-7 days.
Mastitis and tonsilitis are unlikely to be caused by the same bacteria, so you may end up taking an antibiotic that has no effect on the bacteria (if there is even one there) causing your sore throat.
Do you know the recommended dose for a throat infection? The recommended treatment duration? These things vary according to type of infection, area of infection etc.
Can you see I'm heading to a YABU, VVU? And this sort of self medication and people only taking part of a course of prescribed antibiotics has a lot to do with the terrible problems we now have with antibiotic resistance.

DeskPlanner Sat 16-Mar-13 11:25:40


VerySmallSqueak Sat 16-Mar-13 11:23:44

Ime my gp won't prescribe antibiotics unless you display the signs of rigomortis. r3dsquirrel.
But what you suggest can't hurt to try. Perhaps a well reasoned discussion when I am well would be a good idea.
I will try that. You're quite right since what I have been doing really isn't the answer.

SirBoobAlot Sat 16-Mar-13 11:22:42

Some people are actually painfully stupid. You should always finish a course, even if you feel 'fine'.

OP if you have tonsillitis, you don't need ABs, you need plenty of fluids, throat sweets and paracetamol. And I say that as someone who gets it at least every few months.

r3dsquirrel Sat 16-Mar-13 11:14:30

Verysmallsqueak..... if you have a chronic condition and suffer regular infections speak to your gp. Often where appropriate they will prescribe a reserve course of antibiotics to be stored at home and started in specific circumstances. This ensures that you are taking an appropriate antibiotic for the reccomend duration and that the frequency of your exacerbations are recorded and reviewed. This might help you avoid finding yourself one day with a resistant bacteria that has evolved against the short courses of potentially inadequate antibiotics you've been taking. It might also protect those around you from picking up a resistant bug from you.

goldenlula Sat 16-Mar-13 11:02:01

I wouldn't. Call the ooh doctors if you need to. I have a few anti biotics in my cupboard prescribed by my dentist as I have been suffering with nasty abscesses so he prescribed some to keep incase I get another one at a weekend, then I can start them and get an app on the Monday. That is the oly thing I would use them for and only if I was sure it was an abscess.

VerySmallSqueak Sat 16-Mar-13 10:53:48

Tonsilitis can be effectively sorted out without antibiotics,if it is viral.

I tried to weather out the last bout of tonsilitis.After a week or so I had tonsilitis and ulcerative pharyngitis. I could barely swallow my own spit.

Went to the dr's,and was prescribed antibiotics and hit the floor running after 48 hours.

I will always give something that could most likely be viral the chance to sort itself out before I reach for the antibiotics. I would never give my children unprescribed antibiotics.

But I will still stand by taking the antibiotics I have and are suitable if I have a chest infection,rather than end up really poorly as a result of not getting them when I needed them.

WishIdbeenatigermum Sat 16-Mar-13 10:43:06

Resisting the urge to rant at you op. If you didn't know, you didn't know. Gargle with soluble asprin and drink sage tea- either tea bags or from the garden seeped in hot water and sipped: very soothing.

feeldown Sat 16-Mar-13 10:00:15

I've been given 4 prescriptions of antibiotics, and then subsequently been requested to stop taking them as either a) I don't have a bacterial infection or b) they're not working or they're not the correct medication or c) I'm suffering side effects/reactions. I've never been told that stopping them mid way will cause a problem. For that reason though, I have had half used packets of medication in the cupboard too.

I have self prescribed antibiotics in the past but only with the fact that I am given them quite often to keep in the house with the instructions "If you feel you need them, then feel free to take them at xyz dosage" - I think if you suffer regular infections (e.g. tonisilits, skin infections, UTIs etc) it's quite common to be given them to take when you feel you need them. I have in the past with infections phoned GP and said "I have a packet of this in the cupboard, left over because it didn't work for UTI, can I just take for this infection?" and normally they say just to try it out.

That said I am very relucant to take any antibiotics as I'm allergic to Metronidazole and Trimethoprim, and I've taken so much Nitrofurantion that it's useless. I can't take anything that's not penicllin basically, I'm regularly prescribed all manner of penicillin and am genuinely concerned that one day there'll be no antibiotics that work for me.

Fakebook Sat 16-Mar-13 09:53:16

You didn't finish the course of antib's for the mastitis? shock. Very naughty.

YABU. Rub the inside of your forearms up to the wrist quite hard on both arms. That normally makes my tonsils go back down for a few hours. Really. Try it.

Lueji Sat 16-Mar-13 09:48:29

Stay off the antibiotics, unless the gp prescribes them!!!
And take the FULL course, FGS!!!

Now, for tonsillitis, have a few sips of a strong drink and honey.

If it gets really bad and lasts the weekend, go to the gp..

VerySmallSqueak Sat 16-Mar-13 09:48:06

Thank you toothbreathless.

noblegiraffe Sat 16-Mar-13 09:47:46

Tonsillitis usually clears up in 3-4 days with or without antibiotics.

DesperatelyChasingBloodyDog Sat 16-Mar-13 09:45:11

Well, Toobreathless, seeing as OP will be self-prescribing it's hard to see how she will be taking the ABs appropriately.

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