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Would you take antibiotics if not definately needed?

(18 Posts)
YouMaySayImADreamer Wed 31-Dec-14 10:02:47

I have been ill for 9 days now. Started off with a very bad chesty/phlegmy cough which is still there but eased a lot, and for approx the past six days ive had a severe sore throat. The throat seems to be staying the same in its severity and is particularly bad at night when im in agony and wake every hour with it.

I don't have a temp and i'm not achy - I was a bit achy for a day or so when the cough first started. I haven't been snotty, had nasal or headache symptoms either. I have been coughing up some chunks of green phlegm (sorry tmi).

I am quite prone to bacterial tonsilitis but this doesn't look like that at all - my tonsils look normal in size and colour.

I went to the doctor two days ago and he said my throat looks red and he thinks its viral but I could try some antibiotics to see if they helped if I wanted to, but don't necessarily expect them to cure me.

In desperation I took them yesterday but have been battling with my conscience as I really dont know if there is any bacteria and I feel like I am taking an unnecessary risk - from what I have read they should only be taken when the risk of infection clearly outweighs the unknown risks of taking them. I have also been taking paracetamol on his recommendation when i'd never normally take anything in pregnancy so I feel guilty about that too.

I am just in so much pain I don't know what to do for the best. I havent seen any improvement in the pain since being on antibiotics but I do feel better in myself and have stopped coughing up the solid phlegm...could be coincidence though.

Im 37 weeks so am nervous about getting back to full health before the birth. What would you do?

Teeste Wed 31-Dec-14 10:35:10

Oh, that can't be much fun, poor thing! If you've started taking them, then finish the course. Not finishing the course is part of the reason bugs are becoming resistant to antibiotics, plus they sound like they're working. I'm no doctor, but IME green goo = chest infection. I'm sure the GP would have told you if there was a risk, but this page might help you depending on what type you have. Hope you feel better soon! flowers

MrsCK Wed 31-Dec-14 10:38:52

Doctors rarely prescribe antibiotics. particularly if they are unsure whether it is viral or not.

I would take them.

A medical professional has prescribed them to you who knows far more about risks than google.

mausmaus Wed 31-Dec-14 10:40:07

the gp should have aen a swab o send off to see what kind of infection it is.
but they often don't, they are expensive and take time.
in your situation I think I would take them in the hope at they help. keep up eating live yoghurts to protec our gut.

mausmaus Wed 31-Dec-14 10:41:35

and don't feel guilty. you are ill and need treatment. you need to be fit for birth.

ChickenMe Wed 31-Dec-14 10:43:56

If the doc has given them I would take. I had viral tonsillitis a few years ago-it was agonising. I didn't get given anything so the fact you've been given tablets must mean something.

Theorientcalf Wed 31-Dec-14 10:44:53

I took antibiotics when I was pregnant with DS1. Had a chest infection. Make sure you take the whole course, not just some as yes that's how resistance to antibiotics starts. It's miserable having a chest infection, you do want to be well for when you're baby is here so look after yourself. Don't feel guilty, DS is fine!

RevoltingPeasant Wed 31-Dec-14 11:15:34

OP hope this doesn't sound scare-mongering but personally I'd check with my antenatal clinic MW if possible. GPs don't always know masses about pregnancy.

I was prescribed prophylactic ABs for a potential UTI they thought was developing when I was about 19w. Only, when I mentioned it casually to the clinic MW she said 'oh, we don't like to prescribe that to pg ladies anymore as it's now been associated with gut disorders in newborns'.

The GP had acted in perfectly good faith and I'm sure just followed guidelines but I don't think he was specially up to speed on pg.

Swanny84 Wed 31-Dec-14 11:40:00

I'm on my second lot of anti biotics while being pregnant. You must need them hunny or they wouldn't give you them (anti biotics are like gold dust round here, they rarely prescribe them) don't beat yourself up. Wishing you a very speedy recovery xx

rubyboo2 Wed 31-Dec-14 12:22:57

Hi OP Gp's dont prescribe abx unless needed . You could end up much worse if you dont take them . I had to take some a few weeks ago and am relieved I did. Just watch out for Thrush as I ended up with hurrendous Thrush . Rest up and take care x

sianihedgehog Wed 31-Dec-14 13:11:50

Finish the course now you've started them! Not finishing a course can breed antibiotic resistant infections.

ladyflower23 Wed 31-Dec-14 14:18:05

What type of antibiotics has he prescribed? I would say if you have started you should finish as others have said not finishing a course is what causes resistance. If the phlegm has stopped sounds like they are doing something plus you really do want to be well for the birth/looking after newborn flowers

addictedtosugar Wed 31-Dec-14 15:05:12

Please, please finish the course now you've started them. I think being I'll for so long is reason enough to try the AB's. And I'm normally one that doesn't go to the gp. If your concerned, ring the midwife before the bank holiday and check suitability for preganacy, but keep taking them til a qualified medical practitioner tells you otherwise.

ToadyPoady Wed 31-Dec-14 16:17:11

Hi OP, your exact post could have been me a week ago, I had the same symptoms and struggled with the same dilemma about the antibiotics, having avoided all medications for the first 37w of my pregnancy. My GP prescribed amoxycillin because my ELCS is booked for next week and she wanted to give me the best chance of getting over my germs.

Like you, my cough improved pretty quickly but I still had a horrendous sore throat and husky voice, especially at night and first thing in the morning. I did some reading online and read a suggestion that those symptoms could be acid reflux. My GP agreed and prescribed gaviscon, which has absolutely done the trick, within a day I was back to normal smile

So I would say keep taking the antibiotics for the cough, but perhaps try gaviscon to see if it eases your throat?

Hope you feel better soon and good luck!

Threeplus1 Wed 31-Dec-14 19:12:22

Personally I try to avoid antibiotics at all cost even when not pregnant as they mess with gut flora, but I did take a course in my last pregnancy for a UTI. I then ended up with an awful case of thrush. My mw said the dr should have also prescribed a thrush treatment as the antibiotics in pregnancy very often lead to thrush. I'd take the antibiotics since you've started, but would also take some good quality probiotics when finished

donkir Wed 31-Dec-14 19:16:09

I would take them but just be aware of thrush. I had thrush when I delivered DS and he ended up with conjunctivitis. Not a good look for all the newborn pics.

Jaffakake Wed 31-Dec-14 21:37:16

If you are so unsure go & see another gp in the morning & get another opinion. They wouldn't prescribe it if it were risky.

As for paracetamol, please take it whenever you feel you need it. Once your baby is born, please give it to them when you feel they need it. My fil is a gp & this is what he told me & he would never ever put any of his family at risk.

YouMaySayImADreamer Fri 02-Jan-15 11:06:04

Thank you all so much for your replies and experiences. Also for the sympathy and well wishes grin . I wanted to reply individually but there are too many so will try to respond to some questions!

I am on amoxicillan which I know is definately considered safe. I do trust my doctor to prescribe an antibiotic which is considered safe in pregnancy and I was lucky enough to see one of the senior gps. It was more an issue of that fact that no antibiotics are guaranteed 100% safe in pregnancy so to me it was a risk to take them no matter how small.

After a minor panic though you all did a very good job of reassuring me, thank you, and ive carried on taking them. My chest and general feeling of illness has improved vastly so they mustve helped. My throat has still been agony but is just beginning to feel slightly better thankfully.

ChickenMe if youre still around can I just ask what viral tonsillitis behaves/feels like? I have only ever had bacterial tonsillitis which thankfully can be treated with antibiotics but I suspect I have the viral form as no signs of pus yet my tonsils have felt like they might explode!

ToadyPoady sorry to hear you have had it too, its worrying so close to the birth isnt it. Hope you're feeling much better. I can't believe how similar your story is to mine, bought some gaviscon so will definately try that tonight. Lots of luck for the elcs thanks

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