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to ignore doctors advice on antibiotics

(45 Posts)
Chala86 Sun 03-Jan-16 13:03:11

After dealing with a really stubborn bout of cystitis over Christmas and struggling to actually get an appointment at the doctors I finally managed to get myself to their out of hours walk in clinic yesterday and was prescribed antibiotics. The doctor said he would prescribe a 7 day course of 2 a day. Fair enough and as expected. Then he said 'you may feel better after three days, in which case you can stop taking them .' Am AIBU in thinking I should ignore this, regardless of whether I feel better , and just take the full 7 day course? I always thought taking half a course was asking for trouble but please correct me if I'm wrong.

Lweji Sun 03-Jan-16 13:05:10

Yes, I'd take the full course. But check what it says in the instructions. It could be that 3 day is the minimum and the doctor is giving you enough for 7 just in case.

Carriemac Sun 03-Jan-16 13:06:18

That is the correct advice

Carriemac Sun 03-Jan-16 13:06:42

I mean the doctor was correct

MrsJayy Sun 03-Jan-16 13:07:31

Its really up to you my gp surgery only prescribed 3/4 days for my last Uti she said its the norm these days i ended up back for more.

Blueberry234 Sun 03-Jan-16 13:07:39

3 day course can be a normal course of antibiotics so if symptoms had gone I would stop

Chala86 Sun 03-Jan-16 13:20:27

Little advice booklet says 7 days is the normal course, nothing about 3.

Musicaltheatremum Sun 03-Jan-16 13:27:20

3 days is standard treatment however I tend to give 5 days as often find people come back after 3.

Trills Sun 03-Jan-16 13:29:42

Why do you think you know better than the actual doctor?

indyandlara Sun 03-Jan-16 13:31:12

Have they taken a sample to grow cultures? I have had a very UTI Christmas and started with a 3 day course from out of hours. After 3 days still had symptoms so was moved on to a 7 day course of something else. Sample results showed the ones I had initially were the wrong type.

wowfudge Sun 03-Jan-16 13:37:42

All the advice I've ever heard on antibiotics is to finish the course and even if you feel better to still take the rest of them. I fully understand why the OP is confused. Maybe phone the surgery for clarification?

Chala86 Sun 03-Jan-16 13:39:45

I don't think I know better. Just with antibiotics becoming less effective I don't want to be part of the problem, hence asking.
Indy - no sample taken. Have been told if there's no change by Monday to take a sample in. But for now it seems to be going finally.

jevoudrais Sun 03-Jan-16 13:40:08

There is big antibiotic resistance going on at the moment and there are growing concerns we are going to start dying due to basic infections again, it has been in the news very recently.

This is why they are trying to give less antib's than they used to, though three days is standard for a UTI as far as I am aware.

jevoudrais Sun 03-Jan-16 13:41:46

He probably gave you 7 days so you only had to go and pay one prescription charge too. I've had food poisoning recently and got given 28 tablets when I will probably only need 10, but he didn't want me to have to pay double if I wasn't right after 10 days.

Helenluvsrob Sun 03-Jan-16 13:42:48

3days treatmrnt for a uti is normal. Look up nhs antibiotic guidelines if you are worried. Keep the other 4 days for next time

Chala86 Sun 03-Jan-16 13:44:09

Ok, seems iabu. Will stop after three days if it's gone. Thank you everyone.

Lweji Sun 03-Jan-16 13:46:07

Keep the other 4 days for next time

don't take antibiotics without a prescription and being seen by a doctor.

Schwabischeweihnachtskanne Sun 03-Jan-16 13:50:29

Trills I guess the OP is sensibly questioning the advice because doctors (even "actual doctors") are not gods and are very often wrong, and give wrong advice, or advice absolutely opposite to that which another doctor might give in the same situation (hence the normality of seeking a second opinion).

My DD was given a 3 day course of antibiotics for a UTI by a GP which turned out to be both too short a course and the wrong antibiotic - twice within a few weeks. It masked the symptoms both times, making her appear well for a week or so between the symptoms resurfacing and allowing the infection to spread to her kidney eventually, making her very unwell indeed and meaning she ended up in hospital (where they actually did do a series of blood tests and ultrasounds as well as growing the cultures from the urine sample, to find out what was happening and the correct antibiotic actually would be to treat the infections she actually had) for 7 days on intravenous fluids and antibiotics.

Antibiotics shouldn't be handed out without blood tests being done first - otherwise they are just being given out on the basis of guess work.

Schwabischeweihnachtskanne Sun 03-Jan-16 13:54:56

Antibiotic resistance is growing largely due to massive wholesale over use of antibiotics in meat and dairy farming.

The other problem is handing out antibiotics without testing first to see whether they are the right ones. Giving too short a course is worse than giving too long a course, from what I was told by the consultant at the teaching hospital where my daughter was treated. Her kidney infection was resistant to several antibiotics.

Monstertrucker Sun 03-Jan-16 13:56:51

I'd definitely keep the other 4 days for next time if you don't need them. If you're prone to UTI's and confidently know when you have an infection you can start taking them at home before you see a GP. You MUST though get a urine sample in a sterile container before you take the first tablet as once you start taking them you'll mess up the sample for the lab to check. My own GP has said it's fine for me to self medicate like this and knows I have antibiotics on standby on condition I give them a MSU sample to have checked by the lab.

Lweji Sun 03-Jan-16 14:00:45

Antibiotic resistance is growing largely due to massive wholesale over use of antibiotics in meat and dairy farming.

I've heard an expert criticise that point of view. According to him it's more sub-lethal doses, such as short 3 day courses that push up drug resistance.

RaspberryOverload Sun 03-Jan-16 14:11:53

Lweji It's probable that all the reasons have some contribution to the issue of resistance, ie the farming, sub-lethal dosing, over-prescribing, etc.

I can see why OP queried this, as all previous advice I've heard was to finish a course, even if you feel better.

Although the last time I had anti-bs was a 2 month course for Rosacea, which has really helped to improve things.

Must say that I know people locally who can be all up in arms if they go to the docs with a virus and don't get a presciption for something. The issue of resistance is really not making a dent in their belief that the doctor "owes" them a prescription, just because they want it. hmm

Goingtobeawesome Sun 03-Jan-16 14:18:46

I've been told three different things by doctor and pharmacist and nurse so I think it's reasonable for the op to be questioning things. I have one more dose of two antibiotics I'm on to take and still aren't better. Sometimes medicine doesn't do what we expect.

cozietoesie Sun 03-Jan-16 14:22:15

Some of you might be interested in this thread from the Preppers board.


DyslexicScientist Sun 03-Jan-16 14:22:49

I think India is to blame for anti b resistance. Plenty of them can be bought on the streets illegally so lots of people buy and don't take a full course.

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