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To be disappointed that it's world antibiotic awareness week, but hardly anyone seems to know or care?

(64 Posts)
Jralli Wed 18-Nov-15 20:09:23

So antibiotics are already no longer effective against previously treatable infections. Our children are potentially facing a future where antibiotics will not work at all: no caesarean sections, no hip replacements or appendix removal and no chemotherapy....and a government report estimates resistant infections will kill and extra 10m people every year by 2050. Yet the majority of people remain oblivious. A third of people in a WHO survey thought it was ok not to complete the course if they felt better and over half felt there wasn't much they could do about antibiotic resistance. As parents there is heaps we can do from practicing and teaching good hand hygiene to ensuring those we are responsible for only take antibiotics when they need them and take them as prescribed. if the WHO is struggling to raise awareness may be mumsnetters should help!

MediumBox Wed 18-Nov-15 20:12:47

most 'trivial' infections don't need antibiotics even if you feel like shit for a few days

leave ab's for when they are really needed.

and yy to good/better hygiene, esp hand washing

Wincher Wed 18-Nov-15 20:18:59

Well, I didn't know it was world antibiotics awareness week, no. But ds2 is currently taking a course of ABs - the first either of my children has had in a cumulative 7.5 years of parenthood. I'm very glad my children have been so healthy as to not need them till now, and tbh I'm not convinced ds2 needs them now. But we will of course complete the course. I can't stand it that Dh has an elderly relative who apparently has a gp who prescribes her Abs to keep at home just in case, and she takes one or two when she feels a bit unwell. Apparently she feels that as she's in her nineties she doesn't much care about the problems of antibiotic resistance. I hope there aren't too many other people like her!

CoraBeth Wed 18-Nov-15 20:22:45

wincher maybe your relative is given sugar pills? I'd hope so.

YesterdayOnceMore Wed 18-Nov-15 20:23:35

I think that GPS need to be far more reluctant to hand them out. I have been to the doctors on a couple of occasions, although I try not to go anymore, with things like a persistent cough and a UTI (never had one before, didn't know what it was).

GP "I will prescribe you some anti-biotics"
Me "I don't really want anti-biotics, what else can I do?"
GP "why don't you want antibiotics???"

DinoSnores Wed 18-Nov-15 20:27:14

Biggest user of antibiotics is the farming industry, which far outstrips the use in humans (which is too high, but can't be the only focus.) MRSA was first seen in dairy cattle.

As for a GP offering antibiotics for a UTI, that really is the most effective treatment so your GP was hardly handing them out willy nilly! A UTI is normally caused by a bacterial infection, which is very appropriately treated with antibiotics!

Shirtsleeves Wed 18-Nov-15 20:31:14

Yesterday If you're not going to take medical advice, why go to the GP in the first place? confused

FindoGask Wed 18-Nov-15 20:41:21

People don't tend to understand what antibiotics are or how they work. That's why there hasn't been as much uproar as there should be about resistance.

I agree though, one of the biggest problems is their widespread use in industrial farming rather than individual people not completing their prescribed courses.

StillStayingClassySanDiego Wed 18-Nov-15 20:49:08

I don't get why people still think AB's are the answer to a brief debilitating bug.

Ds1 is 20, back when he was a crawling baby and ill our GP didn't give out AB's unless he saw a secondary infection ( tonsillitis ) in one instance.

Why is this still a problem?

VestalVirgin Wed 18-Nov-15 20:57:58

I am aware of the antibiotics problem all the time. I'm vegetarian and only use organic dairy products, so I don't contribute to the farming industry problem.

Though I must say people who misuse antibiotics are also annoying.

@Shirtsleeves: Because some GPs are not that smart? Or, rather, interested in your wellbeing.
I don't always take medical advice, either. If I had, I would be taking the contraceptive pill purely to combat a case of hirsutism. Which I really don't think makes sense.

caroldecker Wed 18-Nov-15 20:59:20

Its not that difficult to solve, just needs funding by governments. Drug companies do not develop new antibiotics as they cannot sell them (they are restricted to only resistant diseases, so very low volume). If governments fund them, they will be developed, but they can't be arsed.

VestalVirgin Wed 18-Nov-15 21:10:37

I don't think developing new antibiotics is the way to solve this problem.

They should be more restricted to start with. And then we can talk about developing more.

Shirtsleeves Wed 18-Nov-15 21:14:47

Vestal I'm not suggesting blindly taking all medical advice but if you go with a short term illness like a cough but are unwilling to take antibiotics (which is your prerogative), why go in the first place? You can get advice on over the counter medicines from a pharmacist.

VestalVirgin Wed 18-Nov-15 21:21:47

Shirtsleeves, I usually go to a GP to get information I have no access to otherwise.
If one just told me to take antibiotics without having any information whether the cough is caused by bacteria, and without knowing whether the kidneys are affected in case of UTI, I'd be pretty sceptical, too.

What I want to hear is "Your cough is caused by bacterium X and that can be treated with antibioticum Y" or "Your UTI already affects the kidneys, you need to get antibiotics".

Not "I don't know either, but ... take antibiotics!"

Seriouslyffs Wed 18-Nov-15 21:23:20

YANBU at all I can only think there's so much going on in the world that there's not a lot of news to fill...

Flossieflower01 Wed 18-Nov-15 21:29:57

Antibiotics can be bought over the counter in many countries (I've done so myself). Often in places where people can only afford a few pills so don't take a full course. This and the massive overuse by the farming industry has far more impact on antibiotic resistance than British human use.

I do think those prescribing them need to be more clear in their instructions though- I know someone who has taken a few antibiotics this week for a kidney infection but nowhere near the amount prescribed so went back for different ones that she also isn't taking properly, all because she doesn't like taking tablets.

Shirtsleeves Wed 18-Nov-15 21:50:33

Vestal the NHS cannot afford to swab for every infection. They can only use key pointers. If you don't find that acceptable, I understand but I think it's a waste of an appt.

SorryCantBeArsed Wed 18-Nov-15 22:20:46

Thankfully I've not had ABs since I was 13, I'm 48 now, it still amazes me how quick some people are to get them. I have friends who keep a stash at home. They are from another country and when they go back to visit they stock up shock the husband in particular will take them for a sore throat or heavy cold. It's not that long ago I mentioned the problems it can cause and seeing as they have a young daughter it could mean that if she got something more serious then what would they think if ABs didn't help because she was immune.? It seems that it's common place for people to just buy them and self medicate where they are from worryingly

Senpai Wed 18-Nov-15 22:58:48

My pediatrician refuses to give anything other than Tylonal to babies, and only if they are spiking a high fever... and this is in America where they love any excuse to squeeze as much as they can from insurance companies.

LegoRuinedMyFinances Wed 18-Nov-15 23:05:44

Have you signed up to be an antibiotic guardian OP? I looked it up recently and its quite easy to do.

Doctors generally give antibiotics out correctly - but it's people not taking the full course and thereby not eradicating the bacteria in fully in the first place, which then develops an immunity to the antibiotics given.

I worry terribly as I have a child who relies on antibiotics to live. My child is currently taking six different antibiotics as we speak. Knowing that bacteria is becoming more resistant worries me greatly. I wish the general public took it more seriously.

redredblue Thu 19-Nov-15 00:48:57


It is terrifying. Awareness needs to be increased.
I see threads on here about taking antibiotics which are most likely unnecessary all the time.
Did you know no new antibiotics were discovered in 30 years? So its not as simple as 'just finding new ones'.

I feel ashamed as I took 7 courses of antibiotics last year. Kidney infection, bladder infections, toe infection confused, bacterial tonsillitis, wisdom tooth infection, chest infection. I also had 4 fungal infections. Picture of health, I am.
Since I have learned about antibiotic resistance I'm going to try to only take them if I really really need them from now on. And trying to reduce the amount of animal products I eat/drink.

redredblue Thu 19-Nov-15 00:51:55

I did fully complete all of those antibiotic courses btw.
Just had an unlucky year last year. This year I've not needed to take any.

Helloitsme15 Thu 19-Nov-15 08:46:15

Bumping to keep this on the first page.

Halfapintofgenius Thu 19-Nov-15 09:20:14


GPs focus on evidence based clinical treatment of individuals. Ime, they are not often up to scratch with public health issues, which address the health of the overall population. Many Gps I know (my GP, but also friends who are GPs) don't know a thing about epidemiology, health economics etc. and are not always best informed about the latest research concerning these things. They simply are too busy caring for their patients. There is also a wish to help and reassure their patients; many people demand AB and GPs give in. On the other hand some doctors are very trigger happy with ab. Either way, in many developing countries people buy ab over the counter from shacks, not pharmacists, I don't think it will be possible to reduce the use of ab in this way over there.

Also evidence suggests that infants are less likely to be given ab if bf. so bf can help to reduce the need for ab.

PontyGirl Thu 19-Nov-15 09:35:44

YANBU. last year, when I had barely just given birth, I was prescribed 3 different antibiotics over the course of 3 weeks for a tear that was found to be "infected" at a check up with my GP. None of these ABs were working, and so the v v worried GP called in another GP and guess what? It wasn't infected. At all. It was just a healing (and very small really) wound.

I was expressing at the time and my GP judt laughed and said "ooh, poor baby".

I've not taken any so far this year, and I hope I don't have to for a long while. It's scary really, where we are headed.

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