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To wonder why the public are blamed for antibiotic overuse?

(188 Posts)
moutonfou Fri 27-Oct-17 08:07:56

I heard some kind of public announcement on the radio today berating us for over-using antibiotics and urging us to stop.

AIBU to think that as antibiotics are prescription-only, it's medical professionals (and farmers) who are responsible for any overuse? Yes, I'm sure some patients with no idea how they work want them for anything and everything, but all a GP has to say is 'I'm afraid antibiotics only kill bacteria and you have a virus.'

Personally I detest antibiotics as they give me thrush and diarrhoea every time, but if the GP deems that I need them, I take them. Does the government think I should be protesting or refusing or something?

artisancraftbeer Fri 27-Oct-17 08:11:30

There are a lot of patients who will kick off at their Gp if they’re not given antibiotics, even when they have a virus. The current campaign is trying to target that. Obviously gps also need to do their job and it would be helpful worldwide if antibiotic use in farming especially was reduced.

glamourousgranny42 Fri 27-Oct-17 08:11:55

YANBU. I get so cross about these reports that we are using antibiotics too often. We can only get them through Drs so why berate the public. The argument is patients don't take no for an answer, well the Drs should be more professional then!! Grrrr makes me cross.

MuseumOfCurry Fri 27-Oct-17 08:11:59

Because a lot of people will harangue their GPs until they get them.

The GPs are not right to acquiesce, mind you.

I suspect agribusiness is the far bigger problem.

MuseumOfCurry Fri 27-Oct-17 08:13:18

This is a bigger issue in the developing world, where often times they're sold over the counter.

Fekko Fri 27-Oct-17 08:14:12

People do demand them from doctors and - you have a roomful if patients and someone kicking off that the need antibiotics, you aren't prescribe them to save money, etc etc. And people don't always complete the prescription given

Musicaltheatremum Fri 27-Oct-17 08:14:12

Yes, I'm quite strict on my antibiotic prescribing but having had patients scream and reduce me to tears because I said "no" can be challenging. My worry is the people who do need it and don't take their rescue antibiotics like patients with chronic lung diseases. I also think vets tend to hand them out widely as well though I'm not a vet so shouldn't speculate why.

Mrsmorton Fri 27-Oct-17 08:14:35

You see people on here telling others to go and demand antibiotics.

It's hard working in primary healthcare when people come to see you armed with a completely wrong diagnosis and treatment plan from the internet that they believe more than you believe you!

Sirzy Fri 27-Oct-17 08:15:18

I think it’s right to educate the public as it amazes me the amount of people who still want antibiotics for everything. I am sure in most cases a placebo could be given and they would be happy wink

However while you can still buy antibiotics over the counter in so many countries no matter what is done here it is going to have very little impact on the much bigger problem

WhooooAmI24601 Fri 27-Oct-17 08:16:15

I think the issue is that many patients present themselves at the GP and demand antibiotics and that GPs only have a limited time and amount of medication at their disposal. Things like tonsillitis and ear infections (which both DCs in our house have frequently) are treated by antibiotics because both DCs are prone to convulsing when they have fever spikes and then we end up at A&E because I can't bring their fevers down.

That's a bog-standard family of healthy, happy DCs who must get through 12 lots of antibiotics each year. Times that by the average population in the UK and you can see why they're overused. But what else can people do?

flyingpigsinclover Fri 27-Oct-17 08:18:20

People take more notice of dr Google than they do of their gp. It's often the same, they are also expert educators who know better then their child's teacher.

QuiteChic Fri 27-Oct-17 08:18:50

And everytime this comes up in the media - do you hear any politician or interviewer ask what the effect of anti-biotics in meat has on our resistance ?

ScrabbleFiend Fri 27-Oct-17 08:20:28

It's a huge issue in the veterinary industry too. People come in with say a coughing dog and for £50 they fully expect to be given antibiotics. Thankfully vets are becoming more responsible in antibiotic prescribing but there's a long way to go by which time they'll all be useless.

Backingvocals Fri 27-Oct-17 08:20:57

My son was on antibiotics for a year because of chronic ear infections. I begged the health authority to let him have the grommets operation done so he could stop taking antibiotics and they refused because it wasn’t within NICE guidelines.

When I sobbed in the consultant’s office they relented and he came off antibiotics as soon as the op was done.

It was so frustrating to be begging for a non antibiotic solution and be overruled time and time again because of the extra cost of the op. I think it’s a case of left hand not knowing what right hand is doing.

Deeandwizzy Fri 27-Oct-17 08:21:42

Also you can buy them over the counter in other countries, Spain for example. I know people that stock up when on holiday and then use them when they think they need them....

user1497357411 Fri 27-Oct-17 08:25:06

A) Agriculture's use of antibiotics is a bigger problem
B) An even bigger problem is that many antibiotics are produced under very unsafe conditions in China. Some of the rivers in China have a higher percentage of antibiotics than the blood of a seriously ill patient treated with high doses of antibiotics. This is why some of the strands of diseases which have proven immune to antibiotics have come from China. This also means that if we want this problem to go away we have to start asking our GPS where the antibiotics he want to prescribe has been produces. In safe conditions in the EU or in not so safe conditions in China? Who can remember to ask that when you are very ill and just want to hide under the duvet?

IfYouGoDownToTheWoodsToday Fri 27-Oct-17 08:27:45


GPS are professionals, they should beable to say “no, they aren’t sutabble for what you have”.
I’m 51 and have known for around 20 odd years that ABs do nothing for viruses, because my GP told me. Yes the public need the facts but GPS have a huge role to play in this. If someone came in and demanded morphine for a sore toe, I’m sure they would find it very easy to say no.

JustHope Fri 27-Oct-17 08:27:54

I also wondered about this OP as the GPs at our local surgery diagnose everything as a virus. They barely listen or take time to examine their patients now just go straight to ‘it’s a virus, come back in 7 days if it’s not cleared up’.

MuseumOfCurry Fri 27-Oct-17 08:28:42

And everytime this comes up in the media - do you hear any politician or interviewer ask what the effect of anti-biotics in meat has on our resistance ?

I know. I think this is the most pressing issue of the day, honestly, and I find it very frustrating that other 'noise' is consuming the bandwidth.

Agribusiness is singlehandedly driving the planet to ruination.

AngelaTwerkel Fri 27-Oct-17 08:31:45

Until recently I lived in the developing world where you could get them over the counter. I knew a lot of people who would buy them whenever they had a cold! They'd just take a few until they felt better again.

Do GP's really give in to people demanding antibiotics?! I might go into my surgery and demand some opiates to get me through Christmas.

MuseumOfCurry Fri 27-Oct-17 08:33:08

I'm sure most of the people on this thread heard the report last week that things like hip replacements are hanging in the balance because of the oncoming march of antibiotic resistance.

Stay healthy, people. I started a fairly hard-core diet and exercise programme almost a year ago and this is largely because I fear for the future of medicine.

OnionShite Fri 27-Oct-17 08:39:37

I suspect your use is quite a bit higher than average whooo. I think of my family as bog standard too and there are years when not one of us has any antibiotics. That's not a dig btw. Your DC evidently suffer worse from infections than most. Just the luck of the draw.

As well as areas of the world where antibiotics can be purchased over the counter, people do order them online from dodgy pharmacies abroad. They can get to the UK that way. I'm not saying that's anything other than a terrible idea on several levels, ftr!

Spikeyball Fri 27-Oct-17 08:42:34

People kicking off and people not completing a course of them. Ds went through a period of going through loads of them with chronic middle turning into outer ear infections because it wasn't known which one would work.

whiskyowl Fri 27-Oct-17 08:44:18

I think the campaign is supposed to be alerting people to the fact that antibiotic use comes with individual as well as collective harms. If you pump an adult or a child full of antibiotics, they are more likely to develop resistant infections that won't respond to those antibiotics later on. So present use needs to be balanced against potential future harms when a decision is made.

I agree with PPs that agricultural use is a scandal and we need to do something across the piece.

scrappydappydoo Fri 27-Oct-17 08:44:32

I thought this when I saw the ad. I struggle to get an appointment with my gp let alone near enough to be prescribed antibiotics so I was a bit bemused about who the ad was aimed at.
But antibiotics in meat? Avoiding gruesome videos or radical vegans - where can I find more info about this?

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