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To tell you to read this. Especially if you keep antibiotics at home.

(109 Posts)
TornadoOfToys Tue 23-Jan-18 08:51:38

Obviously I don't think IABU, but I do think some people need reminding.

And to urge you to think twice about buying meat that says it may have been produced with hormones, antibiotics or other antimicrobial enhancers on the label.

JamPasty Tue 23-Jan-18 08:59:45

Well said. Without antibiotics, which is a very real possibility with the way resistance is progressing, more people will not only die of infections, but also the death rate from things like surgery and chemotherapy which rely on antibiotics, will massively increase.

TornadoOfToys Tue 23-Jan-18 09:55:50


ChickenPaws Tue 23-Jan-18 10:00:04

I see inappropriate prescribing of antibiotics all the time in my line of work. It’s not just the public who need educating.

iskegness Tue 23-Jan-18 10:09:19

GPs regularly prescribe antibiotics just because it's easy and they are over stressed and overworked.

Although the big problems come from India and China where they are bought on the streets.

bobstersmum Tue 23-Jan-18 10:15:31

Have been to India a few times and shockingly you can buy virtually any medicine that you know the name of, over the counter without a prescription, why is this? Never understood it but people definitely abuse it. We had older relatives living there who used lorazepam and diazepam as something nice to enjoy with a drink! Antibiotics were taken at the first sign of illness after a quick Google, really bad.

Iprefercoffeetotea Tue 23-Jan-18 10:21:30

I think people need to be sensible about asking the GP for antibiotics when they don't need them (and GPs need to grow a pair and say no) but the main problem comes from agriculture and the like. As with rubbish, it's easy to complain about consumers, but actually it's industry that needs to get its house in order.

I also think if employers were not so sniffy about people taking time off work antibiotics would be less in demand, people feel like they have to get back to work right away so ask for them when they might get over the illness quite soon anyway, and the same with their kids. My son has had antibiotics about 3 times in his life, once for conjunctivitis which he probably needed, but I wonder if the other times were things he would have got over in a few more days.

Sephi1 Tue 23-Jan-18 10:24:24

I was offered some for a sore throat (that isn't why I visited the GP). I declined!

Gingernaut Tue 23-Jan-18 10:24:29

Love this message

C.Diff. is a massive problem.

TornadoOfToys Tue 23-Jan-18 10:32:52

Since when was being stressed an acceptable reason for endangering people's lives? Imagine if I was a lorry driver. I've to deliver by 530pm tonight. Gosh I'm really stressed, let me just have a couple of glasses of wine, that helps me relax. Now I can set off down the motorway. Would that be acceptable? No. So neither is the excuse that the GP's are stressed.

Do you tell your children it's ok to do bad things as long as someone else is doing worse? No, didn't think so. Look, my mate in Germany always has 4 drinks before he drives his truck. So it must be ok for me to have a couple. Is that acceptable? No.

Everyone has to do their bit. Boycott industries which use antibiotics. Use some common sense, not oh look I've some antibiotics in the cupboard, let me take some in case I might get an infection.

Just because it's not an immediate threat isn't reason to ignore it. Why are people happy to take antibiotics without reason when it could seriously affect the outcome of the lives of their children?

justforthisthread101 Tue 23-Jan-18 10:33:19

We have switched to organic meat and dairy because of the use of antibiotics and hormones. Clearly not possible out and about all the time but at least I'm doing it at home.

Not an option for all as it is substantially more expensive, but it just means we eat less meat, which probably isn't a bad thing anyway.

Our GP practice also errs on the side of caution and don't hand them out willy-nilly.

ppeatfruit Tue 23-Jan-18 10:43:42

DH eats only organic meat too justfor (i don't eat it) The monopolistic meat and dairy industries are soo powerful they lie about AB use all the time.

Only couple of days ago on the telly they had a 'representative' of the poultry industry saying there was no difference between a 'broiler' mass produced bird and a corn fed one. The presenter DID NOT ask the right questions about additives etc. I wonder why????

TornadoOfToys Tue 23-Jan-18 10:55:12

Maybe because the presenter didn't have a clue that there could be additives. Amongst my acquaintences (I am aware that sounds ridiculous!) a lot had no idea that hormones and ab's were routinely used.

We also have cut down on meat, only organic meat and diary (also cheese, because we recently found out about their use in production) so we do eat a lot less because we can't afford it.

I'm grateful our doctor also doesn't hand out ab's just like that. DD had some last year, but they tested her first. I posted not all that long ago asking if I needed to take DD to the doctor (I was dithering because we were about to go on holiday, else I'd have left it). The overwhelming answer was yes, she needs antibiotics. I called the doctor who said if she was still ill in 4 days then he would arrange for her to be seen where we were staying. In 4 days, she was better.

grin Gingernaut I like that one!

lookingforthecorkscrew Tue 23-Jan-18 10:57:49

I shudder to think about all the antibiotics that I’ve been oversubscribed in the past. I’m much more cautious with DS, he’s only had one course in his three years and that was the result of a swab.

Ollivander84 Tue 23-Jan-18 10:59:01

I'm cautious with them but have probably had 50+ courses in the past
I have an emergency course at home but that's only to be used if I have an infection and the GP says take them

Frouby Tue 23-Jan-18 11:05:39

I saw on countryfile this week the effect Abs were having on levels of AB resistant bugs in the ocean! That is quite worrying.

As well as limiting ABs it also said we should only use antibacterial cleaning products when absolutely necessary like after handling raw chicken.

CuppaTea86 Tue 23-Jan-18 11:08:36

To give a GP perspective on antibiotic prescribing, I wouldn't describe it as "stress" causing unnecessary prescribing, but more uncertainty and pressure. In some cases you see a very clear cut viral illness or bacterial illness based on clinical signs and can confidently treat or not treat and explain your rationale to the patient/parent. But very often the signs can be very subtle and easily missed. Perhaps they have presented early in the illness and the signs haven't developed yet. Every day it can be a battle e.g with parents who argue that last time you didnt give antibiotics their child was admitted to hospital two days later. Using delayed prescriptions and good patient info leaflets and safetynetting advice can be helpful.

I am very pleased that point of care testing is being rolled out soon for respiratory tract infections. Essentially, a finger prick test that will immediately tell you how high an infection blood marker is. In cases where you are not sure if a infection is viral or bacterial when assessessing a patient- we will have clearer guidelines on when to treat based on the blood test. Pilot studies show that it reduced antibiotic prescribing by 20%. Every little helps. Unfortunately at present it costs approx £5 a test which is more than the cost of one weeks course of antibiotics.

CuppaTea86 Tue 23-Jan-18 11:12:22

Here's a link about CRP point of care testing:

Gabilan Tue 23-Jan-18 11:12:55

Since when was being stressed an acceptable reason for endangering people's lives? Imagine if I was a lorry driver. I've to deliver by 530pm tonight. Gosh I'm really stressed, let me just have a couple of glasses of wine, that helps me relax. Now I can set off down the motorway. Would that be acceptable? No. So neither is the excuse that the GP's are stressed.

That's not an accurate analogy though OP. Lorry drivers don't have people saying to them every day "please just drink this wine. I need you to drink this wine. It will make you less stressed and make the deliveries easier".

No, of course GPs shouldn't be overprescribing antibiotics but there is an enormous and persistent amount of ignorance out there. I've explained to my mum, an educated and intelligent woman, that abx do not work on viruses. And yet time and again she'll say "oh well they do work on some viruses". Drives me nuts, and I can only imagine the pressures GPs are under. We need not just public education campaigns about this but better science education if people are going to get it into their thick heads realise how and when abx are effective and exactly why they shouldn't take them "just in case".

TreacleBoo Tue 23-Jan-18 11:18:45

As a teenager, I was on antibiotics every day for over 2 years. Was very naive & although was slightly aware of antibiotic resistance, I presumed a doctor knew a lot more than me & therefore must be fine. I’m obviously more aware now & would never do it again, however I do wish the doctors took the time to explain the cons of antibiotic use, especially to those who are young or may not realise the implications.

justforthisthread101 Tue 23-Jan-18 11:20:25

@CuppaTea86 our GP does quite a bit of delayed prescribing. It means you're not coming back for another appointment but have something to hand if you need it. With DD2 it's particularly helpful as she can spike really nasty temperatures, and appear very unwell but be better 72 hours later. DD1 is a bit more of a slow-burner. I've learned to trust my instincts but have taken prescriptions on the basis that I may or may not fill them for DD2 - particularly close to the weekend as we don't have Saturday surgery and I loathe our OOH with the fire of a thousand suns.

@TornadoOfToys, it was cheese and milk first with us. I have two girls, neither of whom are big, and DD2 loves a bit of cheese. The result is she eats quite a lot of it she doesn't get a huge amount of protein and fat elsewhere. Then I started reading about hormones and additives and my jaw hit the floor. So now she eats organic only.

ExConstance Tue 23-Jan-18 11:24:21

I'd worry a bit more about antibiotic prescribing for people if the use in agriculture brought about by intensive farming ended.

Mogginthemog Tue 23-Jan-18 11:25:39

I now have a painful and exhausting condition that has damaged nearly all of my bladder wall called cystitis cystica which is the result of not being given antibiotics for cystitis over the years or given 3 day courses which didn’t completely clear up infection.

There is a huge problem around antibiotic resistance but that shouldn’t mean that those who do need them are denied them for fear of over prescribing. I’m now faced with up to two years of regular bladder installations to try repair the damage and enable me to get some quality of life back without being in severe pain and needing the loo every half hour.

CuppaTea86 Tue 23-Jan-18 11:25:52

Yy to public education programmes, to be honest I think it should start in secondary school. We already have leaflets, posters and a video playing in reception on a loop about antibiotics.
Perceptions need to be changed about how long you can expect types infection to take to resolve on their own naturally.
A Cochrane review shows that in children " In most (90%) children earache was resolved by seven to eight days, sore throat by two to seven days, croup by two days, bronchiolitis by 21 days, acute cough by 25 days, common cold by 15 days, and non-specific respiratory tract infections symptoms by 16 days".
I frequently see patents bring in a child with mild symptoms which started 24-48hours ago.

TornadoOfToys Tue 23-Jan-18 11:26:33

Maybe my doctor told me I had to cut my stress levels and drinking wine cuts my stress levels. It was the first thing that came to mind. Just think that my lorry is ab resistance and it's bearing down on us right now. Or please, feel free to find another, more suitable analogy.

I totally agree. People need to be told. People need to discuss it. It needs more publicity.

I don't deny GP's are under pressure. But equally, if I were to rock up and demand morphene (? here my medical knowledge is failing me, but you get the idea) for no good reason, then they would I hope say no.

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