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Ask Dr Jyoti Sood your questions about when antibiotics are needed and the threat of antibiotic resistance to your family - chance to win £300 voucher! NOW CLOSED(149 Posts)
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Antibiotics have helped millions of people and are essential to treat serious bacterial infections. However they are frequently being used to treat illnesses; such as coughs, earache and sore throats, which can get better by themselves. Antibiotic resistance is a growing problem and one which can put you and your family at risk of developing infections which can’t be easily treated with antibiotics. Public Health England has launched a new campaign called ‘Keep Antibiotics Working’, to warn about the dangers of taking antibiotics unnecessarily and urges people to take their doctor’s advice on antibiotics.
Dr Jyoti Sood is here to answer your questions about what antibiotics are used for, the threat antibiotic resistance poses for you and your family and general tips to keep your family well this winter. Whether you have questions about what illnesses can be treated with antibiotics, what antibiotic resistance is, what it means for you and your family and some self-care advice to help you to get better if you are feeling unwell but are not being treated with antibiotics, Dr Jyoti is here to help.
Dr Jyoti Sood has this to say: “As a GP I’m often asked to prescribe antibiotics by patients who think that they will cure all their ills. The reality is that antibiotics are not always needed because they are ineffective in treating viruses or, in the case of illnesses such as coughs, earache and sore throats, people can get better by themselves. Taking antibiotics when you don’t need them puts you and your family at risk of developing infections which in turn cannot be easily treated with antibiotics. The best advice is to always take your doctor’s advice and remember that your pharmacist can recommend medicines to help with your symptoms or pain.”
Please post your questions on the thread below and we’ll choose 20 for Dr Jyoti to answer and then post a link to the responses as soon as possible. Everyone who posts their questions will be entered into a prize draw where one MNer will win a £300 voucher of their choice (from a list)
Here is some information about Dr Sood:
Dr Jyoti works as a GP in Redbridge, in a large urban practice. She trained in local hospitals and has been in the same practice for last 14 years.
She has a specialist interest in diabetes and dermatology and provides clinical support to these areas.
Dr Jyoti is the cancer and diabetes lead for Redbridge and has previously participated in public health campaign to promote awareness of signs and symptoms of cancer.
Thanks and good luck!
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I'm a firm believer in waiting for things to get better, but generally how long do symptoms have to last before anti-biotics (assuming not a virus) are required?
How do GPs know what antibiotic to prescribe, please?
I don't live in the UK , and here a doctor will generally only prescribe antibiotics after a test to confirm that it's a bacterial infection. The test results take a day to come through, so if it's really really acute you'll get the ABs anyway, but in most cases it's possible to wait that extra day. And most doctors give me a prescription after the first visit and trust me to only get it filled if the results are positive for bacterial infection - which means I don't have to go to the surgery twice.
I've quite often been surprised just how difficult it is to really tell if a bacterial infection is at the bottom of feeling awful, or if it's just viral -I think a test is the only reliable way. It's saved me from taking a fair amount of unnecessary ABs over the years.
So the big question - why isn't this done in the UK too? I don't see that it can be for cost reasons - surely the cost of the extra ABs plus the costs of dealing with resistance are greater than the cost of doing the tests.
When you have a cough, is it true that a dry cough is worse than a loose cough. As a mum with two little ones, I always worry about longer term coughs.. (more than two weeks..)
A doctor at my local out of hours told us the other day that since the new rules on giving out less antibiotics have come into force, the stats on the amount of cases such as quinsy have increased. Is this true ? Thanks
A question I'd be too embarrassed to ask in real life- should I be doing something special with the spoon or syringe I use to give the antibiotics? Is a little pool of antibiotic resistant bacteria forming on the counter next to the sink where I dump it prior to washing? Does washing the traces of antibiotic off the spoon into the plug hole create any risk to the environment (as in more antibiotic resistant bacteria in sewers etc)?
Just a thought that popped into my head once and troubles me whenever the children have had antibiotics.
Can you explain how antibiotic resistance develops? Is it laterally across a population or generationally?
How long should I leave a suspected infection eg a UTI, to get better of its own accord, before giving in and asking for antibiotics?
what about prevention and other methods for treatment?
thinking of good hygiene, exercise, diet.
or gargling for a sore throat.
My 2 year old daughter was prescribed antibiotics recently for the first time for a bad chest and had a reaction to the penicillin and broke out in spots and was quite poorly (thankfully all better now).
I don’t know much about it but will this be a big issue in future if she needs antibiotics? Are there many different types / other options? Hopefully I won’t have to worry as we’re not a family to run to the doctors at the first sign of illness!
I am allergic to penicillin which caused a few problems when I had a kidney infection a few years ago and required IV antibiotics then a follow on tablet course. Are new antibiotics been developed? If you are allergic to penicillin do you have a great chance of resistance?
Does tonsillitis always need to be treated with an antibiotic?
what always comes up in conversation with friends is that bacterial infections have to be treated with antibiotics.
is that the case?
Not quite an antibiotics question but when medicine says "take 4 times a day" does that literally mean every 6 hours or does it mean 4 times during the the time while you are already awake?
do you think more can be done to educate parents on self care and self treatment for minor ailments, therefore reducing the need for anti biotics
Who is the real culprit when it comes to antibiotic resistance, misuse in human or industrial use for vows, pigs, chicken? What is the % of blame for each? Thank you
Since the non-prescribing guidelines have come into force, has there been any change in the number of serious incidents/ missed diagnoses/ cases of failure to prescribe appropriate treatment? Is this data collected under the umbrella of “probably should have been given antibiotics but wasn’t”?
My concern is that there is such a drive to reduce antibiotic use that doctors (not just GPs) do not always prescribe antibiotics when their use would actually be warranted.
Also how is the non prescribing policy impacting on pressures on other resources? E.g. have you found a change in consultation length, or the number of visits patients make for the same problem?
Are prescribing guidelines different when dealing with the immediate household of immune-compromised patients?
Not the patient (in my household, me) because they may well have instructions (eg contact haematology/oncology immediately day or night at first sign of infection), but the other household members in order to minimise exposure of vulnerable person to pathogens (ahead of certainty it’s bacterial or even prophylactically against secondaries)
I ask because I’m newly diagnosed with leukaemia (CML) and still learning about what is necessary/prudent to keep me healthy.
What's your opinion on the contribution of anti-bacterial products such as cleaning sprays, wipes and washing liquids to the issue of antibiotic resistance? Wouldn't we be better using plain soap and water in most cases?
In general how many patients do ask for antibiotics? We're the kind of family who tend to avoid the GPs as much as possible and would never ask. I'm interested to know how many you are asked for and how many you actually prescribe.
I had been drinking kefir and avoiding antibiotics throughout pregnancy but then was administered routine antibiotics before my Caesarean birth. Would this has affected baby's biome?
Can you explain what antibiotic resistance is, exactly? Do people become resistant, or the bugs themselves? Is there a real possibility of some new strain of illness cropping up that could be untreatable? That really scares me.
I in the past have had recurrent otitis externa so needed anti biotic ear drops and occasionally get impetigo/staph in my nose (think my job is part of the reason I catch things)
Do these always require antibiotics? Are there alternative?
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