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Antibiotics - for or against?

(19 Posts)
dejags Wed 11-May-05 20:20:26

My DS2 has had a cold for nearly 3 weeks, with sticky eye and intermittent fever, he has now started coughing too.

I went to the doctor yesterday because I have also had flu/cold that I cannot shake. He diagnosed me with Pharyngitis, Sinusitis, Conjunctivitis and Bronchitis - all on top of the flu. He has prescribed me with really heavy duty antibiotics and because I felt so crap I decided to take the course. I feel so much better.

I will take the antibiotics on offer this time because DS has a chest infection.

However, I am on principal not really in favour of giving my baby DS (8 months) anti-b's. He has already had 3 courses since he was born (all totally necessary). What are the long terms effects of antibiotic use?

Are you for or against? If against, what approach do you take to get your baby better?

dejags Wed 11-May-05 20:21:22

That wasn't clear - I meant to say that I will accept the antibiotics for DS (3rd paragraph).

dinny Wed 11-May-05 20:22:30

Hi Dejags, sorry to hear you and ds not been well. Here's to a speedy recovery. I think I am lile lots of people - anti giving them until my baby got something that really needed them. DD has never had them (she is 3) but ds has had to have 3 lots since born, 2 in utero and a huge dose during delivery. ;-(

dejags Wed 11-May-05 20:24:31

Dinny, thanks. You reminded me that DS also had a dose during delivery.

The reason I brought it up was that I was talking to a friend recently whose daughter has never had anti-b's. Made me feel a bit bad that both DS's have had loads (despite my best intentions )

kid Wed 11-May-05 20:24:32

for me, if the Dr thinks my child needs AB's, I tend to give them.
I'm was not happy to continuosly give my DD AB's for impetigo which she seemed to constantly get. One particular Dr wouldn't even take a swab to confirm it was impetigo and not a coldsore. I try to steer clear of that Dr.

dinny Wed 11-May-05 20:25:55

Out of your hands, Dejags. I was kind of smug that dd had never had them until ds needed them for pretty serious reasons.

kid Wed 11-May-05 20:25:56

My DD has had loads, DS has only had them once or twice IIRC. Once when he had a chest infection and again when he had pneumonia, scary both times.

dejags Wed 11-May-05 20:29:28

Thanks Kid. My DS1 has also had a lot of AB's. He had recurrent tonsilitis so we ended up with them a lot. He had 12 bouts of tonsilitis in 2004, they were taken out in 2005 (feb) and he has been well since . So defo a place for them I just have this niggling sensation that a baby so young shouldn't really have had them so often?

Anybody have any medical experience on this one?

Marina Wed 11-May-05 20:31:59

I'm not against them - they have saved more lives than we can ever imagine today. I AM against over, or poor prescription of them, and I think that this is happening much less these days in the UK.

The long-term effects of antibiotic use where it is not medically essential are seemingly to make some strains of bacteria immune against most "standard" antibiotics, and MRSA (methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus) is a good example of why this is really bad news.

Dd has suffered intermittently from nasty ear infections since she was nine months old and for a time had course after course after course of amoxycillin, erithromycin, cephalexin, you name it really. None have seemed to clear it up and that has made me very unhappy. She is now on a low daily dose of trimethoprim (an antibacterial) and we have had NO burst eardrums ever since.

Generally I try to give the children as healthy a diet as possible (plenty of raw and cooked organic fruit and veg, bread with seeds and grains in, oily fish, live yogurt and organic red meat) and supplement with a vitamin tonic (Kindervital) and echinacea if they seem run down.

I personally feel conjunctivitis alone does not need antibiotics and I tend to let heavy colds run their course. But to be honest I think you're taking the right line Dejags - only having them when your gut feeling tells you (and the GP agrees) that they are needed. A chest infection in an under one needs knocking on the head. Hope you both feel better soon.

Marina Wed 11-May-05 20:35:10

Dejags I was smug about ds too - one course at 11 months and nothing ever since. Dd has exactly the same diet...and she has had pints of them. That other lady has just been very lucky

dejags Wed 11-May-05 20:36:28

Thanks Marina. I totally agree, that the standard in the UK seems to be erring ont he side of caution before prescribing AB's which is a good thing. However in SA, some paediatricians/GP's will give you a prescription over the phone if you ask for it. DS2 was offered AB's a few months ago for a mild ear infection - I opted not to give him the meds and am fairly certain the doctor thought I was a bit earth mother which I am not.

Unfortunately I go along with white coat syndrome a lot of the time and this does bother me.

mmm, I think I may not have found the right GP for us. Perhaps its time to look around a bit.

piffle Wed 11-May-05 20:42:15

I tend to leave them for coughs and colds. I used to have them 6-7 x a yr for recurrent chronic sinusitis
A homeopath told me to drink 3 litres of water daily when I felt an attack come on and eat raw garlic or garlic capsules and take echinacea and after the 1st attack of suffering through the pain, I have never had another attack again.

Also one paed consultant told me that many ear infections in babies have the same result timewise if anti b's are given as not
dd was on regular meds for sticky eye (she has blocked ducts) but found if I wash with chamomile and multi multi diluted weakened tea tree oil, it disappears overnight
This shocks me as ds (10 yrs older than dd) had anti b's for ear infections, coughs and colds for his 1st 3 yrs as I never knew better back then.
I think dd has had 3 courses and she is 2.5.
I totally believe in antibiotics as medicine, but like Marina am wary of them bening over prescribed
DD had a cough for 4 mths and I was desperate for a magic medicine to clear it up, but it went on it's own, eventually.
Food for thought definitely

Marina Wed 11-May-05 20:43:05

i did wonder whether societal/cultural factors were an issue, Dejags. I think our GP would delist us if we tried to blag antibiotics down the phone .
How has the move worked out generally (nasty women at toddler groups apart)? Has it been good for you all as a family?

dejags Wed 11-May-05 20:46:19

thanks Piffle. I'll definitely give the tea tree/camomile solution a bash. Do you know if echinacea is ok for kids/babies to take?

What sort of cough did your DD have? DS2's is chesty and worse at night, he has a slight temparature tonight too.

dejags Wed 11-May-05 20:49:30

Thanks Marina. The move was the best thing for the family without a shadow of a doubt. It has been hard for me though. Although I went to school here I am English at heart and I find the odd african ways difficult sometimes.

On the other hand we work for ourselves, have a beautiful home, we have a nanny, cleaner and gardener. So life isn't all bad .

DS1 is in a private school which he loves, DS2 is a happy chappy in general and loves nanny to bits. We have family to help with them and our social life is improving by the day - I use a calender now [proud emoticon]

Thanks for remembering

suedonim Wed 11-May-05 21:12:43

A cold simply doesn't last for three weeks so it's likely your ds has a secondary infection and I think giving him the a/b's will not do him any harm. Afaik, there aren't any long term effects of a/b use. Used properly, ie finishing the course etc, there shouldn't be any problems. Hope everyone is feeling better soon and it's nice to hear how you're getting on in SA. Maybe one day, if I ever go to SA to research on my dad's family tree, I'll pop in and see you!

dejags Wed 11-May-05 21:18:47

thanks Suedonim - I agree, I have tried ensuring his fluid intake is good and that he is getting plenty of fresh fruit and veg but he just can't shake it. I have the same thing.

I am now off to investigate good vit/mineral supplements for babies/young children.

and if you are ever in this neck of the woods I know all the best restaurants and my DH is a dab hand at a braai (bbq).

piffle Wed 11-May-05 21:34:34

I think echinacea is ok after 2 certainly in the bottle I've got. But I'd check it out with suppliers etc
dd's cough started just after we got a dog and we suspected it was the dog so we got rid of our dog.
Cough continued for months, only really at night, phlegmy but not chesty, ie gunk in throat, she would retch and did vomit phlegm a few times too. Her temp was mildy up and down for weeks, the only other factor we had was she was teething her molars. We used tixylix in all varieties, these did help a bit - esp the one that says catarrh on it.
I felt guilty for using so much over the counter meds as well though.
We tried everything, took her off dairy, nothing worked, until two weeks ago it just went. And her teething has stopped too, so not sure if it is a coincidence or not...

piffle Wed 11-May-05 21:37:05

Ahh the SA thing might explain a little
When we moved here in 97 from NZ, ds and I spent a long time with coughs and colds and adjusting to the new hemispheres bugs....
It could be that's applicable too?
Life sounds pretty good Dejags, lurgy aside

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