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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!
Standard Insight T&C’s apply
Why can’t be be like America? My friends say ‘tested positive for strep and got my antibiotics’ or ‘tested positive for flu’ and yeah we just suffer
Just wondering how this works-will the Dr ever come reply as the thread has been up for weeks...
Sort of loses the impetus a bit re managing antibiotic use if none of the concerns ever get acknowledged...
The no antibiotics has clearly gone too far in some cases causing individuals harm. My lg had a severe bacterial infection, raging 40+ temp not controlled by both nurofen and calpol turning blue lips and nails. With rigors too. Had previously seen gp called ambulance and taken in with o2. They checked her and discharged missing both a new heart murmur and the ear infection. Still ill 2 days later saw a different gp who saw the ear infection and heard the new heart murmur. Better within 24h of AB. Since then has suffered with ear infections and has severe pain for less than 18h before it bursts. The system is not set up for this scenario. It assumes gradual issues and that older children can recover from ear infection without immediate AB.
The decline in tonsil and adenoid removal has surely led to more AB being needed but now they are not being given.
Leading to some very ill children in the long term. Plus increased behaviour issues.
What is also not considered is the contagiousness. One untreated child can spread stuff to the whole class.
I have recovered multiple times from green phlegm/snot etc without AB. Though i have suffered more in pg etc when not able to take anything.
I wonder how much those swabs cost.
It seems like it is a lot of guesswork and without certainty people will get different results each time they see someone different and lose trust.
My DS had suspected meningitis as a three year old and had a 24 hour antibiotics drip has this caused his recent allergic reaction to penicillin?
Couple of things from an ex-biochemist if helpful.
1) We're worried about antibiotic resistance because it means that the bacteria will effectively 'outsmart' our medicines for treating them. It's not the case that individual people become resistant to antibiotics, so if you've had to take lots of antibiotics before under medical supervision, that's ok, you needed them. The risk is that because a lot of antibiotics are used in general, the bacteria get used to seeing them, and adapt to them so the drugs don't work any more. Once the bacteria have adapted and become resistant, anyone (including healthy people) can get them and we won't be able to kill off the resistant bacteria that are making them sick. The fewer antibiotics we use in general across the population, the lower and slower the chances of drug resistant bacteria emerging.
2) Antibiotic resistance is a global problem, and yes, some other countries use them more liberally than we do at the moment. But that's changing - here is a link to the World Health Organisation's work including a big meeting in Sept 2016 agreeing on a Global Action Plan. It will take time (getting things changed across nearly 200 countries and healthcare/farming regimes isn't quick or easy) but everyone has agreed to do their bit, including the UK.
Hope this helps!
Naty1. Agree with that. Mine both had tonsils out privately on my dh healthcare as they had repeated tonsillitis There over all health has been so much better since and now (touch wood) it's much rarer for them to have antibiotics. My dd hasn't had them for years and my son only for an infected cut
Before that they were facing Antis. 3 or 4 times a year. Messing up guts and my dd is now allergic to penicillin.
Oh also the NHS wouldn't take them out. The criteria was something like 12 cases in 2 years!
Why don't the NHS take swabs? Ensuring whether and what antibiotics are needed would be the best way to reduce unnecessary use and would reassure he public that they're getting them when needed.
How long should it be before going to the doctor? What is the difference between a virus and infection? I have other illnesses that make it hard to separate the symptoms some times. Are there any home remedies that can be used to aide the healing process?
This may sound like a silly question,but is antibiotic resistance built up on a person by person basis (eg. Somebody who has been prescribed antibiotics frequently throughout their lives will be resistant to the effects,whereas somebody who has only been prescribed antibiotics twice in their lives won’t have built up a resistance)
Or is it a problem for society as a whole?
I have a penicillin allergy so does dh. Is it likely that dd will also have this or is there no link?
Are gps getting training over this I've gone a couple of times wondering if I need antibiotics once for back pain that I thought was possibly a uti but I had no stinging and second for a chest infection both times they said they thought I should have antibiotics 'to be on the safe side' however I wonder if I really needed them. When is the right time for antibiotics to be given like at what point would they actually be warranted?
I had severe pneumonia a few years back and antibiotics saved my life. Very scary to think that the infection that I had may not have been killed by the antibiotics.
My question is, is it true that you can "build up" your own immunity by using antibiotics as little as possible? Will allowing your body to fight the infection naturally actually make you stronger in the long run? At which point should we stop trying to fight an infection "naturally" and use antibiotics?
My older son has Type 1 and seems to contract every bug going. This means he often has a course of antibiotics “just in case”. It concerns me that he has so many antibiotics but can’t see an alternative. He’s allergic to penicillin and if he doesn’t have antibiotics then the illness often drags on for weeks meaning he misses lots of school and sometimes needs a hospital stay. He takes vitamins and we work hard to keep his blood sugar levels stable but it’s a near impossible task.
Other countries have tests for bacterial infections, such as strep throat. In the U.K. GP's are in many cases essentially guessing. Surely it's more logical to stop the GP's guessing rather than blaming a load of people for doing something they are told to do?
I really don't understand these adverts. The British public have no access to antibiotics, they have to be prescribed. Why do I have a big banner on my screen paid for by our taxes saying 'take your doctors advice on antibiotics'. Erm isn't that why we have GP's and isn't that what everybody HAS been doing? Perhaps spend this money on the strep throat tests for a start.
I struggle to accept that now there's a problem with antibiotic overuse we aren't holding those prescribing the medicine to account.
It's like when GP's can't be arsed with people who present in pain. They used to send them away with bucket loads of opiates and tell them not to make a fuss. Now there's a massive addiction problem but of course, it's the junkies fault.
I think the question is why do we have massively expensive untouchable GP's. They have all the power yet take no responsibility for their actions.
GPs can't win. If they refuse antibiotics and an infection turns out to be something nasty they will be slaughtered. Most primary care diagnosis is guesswork combined with experience - instant swabs with the answer just do not exist.
People keep asking whether antibiotic resistance is on an individual basis. No, it's not you who is resistant it's the bacteria. Hence we are all in trouble.
Congratulations to @Spink for winning the prize draw of a £300 voucher!
Prize draw? Did anyone get answers to their questions?
Hi @CoteDAzur, everyone who posts a question on the thread, (regardless of whether their question is chosen to be answered or not) gets entered into a prize draw where we randomly selected one MNer to win a £300 voucher. This is as a thank you for posting on the thread.
This Q&A has only just closed, as we wanted to give MNers the chance to ask their questions over the Christmas period. We are currently choosing the questions for Dr Jyoti Sood to answer.
We will post a link once they have been answered. This should be in around 2-3 weeks.
Argymargy yes of course it's the bacteria, we are not stupid. But it's a fair question to say if you keep zapping your own individual bacteria with antibiotics, does that then leave more space for colonisation by resistant strains? Seems particularly relevant for skin bacteria like staph which are there all the time but only cause issues when the immune system can't keep them in check.
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The answers are now live for you all to view; you can find them and enter the competition here.
Apologies for how long it took to get this live.
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