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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

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MNHQ have commented on this thread.

EllieMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 15-Dec-17 14:58:37

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

Tanfastic Sat 16-Dec-17 15:49:46

I have suffered on quite a few occasions in my life with tonsillitis. On most occasions I've been given antibiotics and been back on my feet within a few days but once or twice they gp has refused to give me any and it's taken me a lot longer for it to go on it's own. Yes it always goes but it's horrendous. How do GP's make the decision of when antibiotics are warranted and when they are not?

HeyMacWey Sat 16-Dec-17 15:59:43

Thankfully none of my children (ages ranging from 8- 16) have ever needed antibiotics.

I've never used antibacterial stuff round the home and erred on the side of slatternly when they were smaller - is this linked to having what might appear to be stronger immune systems?

As they've never had antibiotics, would the risk of resistance be lowered?

SandLand Sat 16-Dec-17 16:23:34

How much can UK GPs reducing antibiotic prescribing help, when usage is high in farming practices, and antibiotics are readily available (over the counter in the country im thinking of, and probably many other places) eksewhere? Can the UK really make a difference?

3luckystars Sat 16-Dec-17 16:31:28

When we were on holidays in France, my son got a sore throat. At the clinic the doctor did a swab, (it was similar to a cheap pregnancy test) and said ‘if a line appears, he gets antibiotics’ sure enough a line appeared and we got the medicine.

I thought I was absolutely fantastic.

I really think a similar test in Ireland and the UK would be worth investigating.

honeyandginger48 Sat 16-Dec-17 16:36:15

My 17 year old daughter has been taking antibiotics for a couple of years now to help control her severe acne. She has tried three different types (prescription was changed due to side effects) which have all worked whilst she's taking the antibiotics but the acne returns once my daughter stops. We are both concerned about the long term effects of taking antibiotics and the possibility of her building up a resistance to them. However without them her skin is a mass of raw and painful spots. Is there an alternative to taking antibiotics?

2old2beamum Sat 16-Dec-17 18:55:45

I cannot wait for the day when you can go to your GP with an infection and you have a finger prick blood test to identify whether you have a viral or bacterial infection.
Our beautiful boy died of sepsis and as he had been bombarded with antibiotics for several years he was resistant to the strongest one Vancomycin at the time and antifungals.

tumblrpigeon Sat 16-Dec-17 19:25:29

Good opportunity to remind everyone that treatment of a dental abscess is
DRAINAGE ( extraction , incision , or commencement of root filling via drilling into the tooth and removing the soft inside "pulp" of the tooth. )

NOT antibiotics.

boboismylove Sat 16-Dec-17 20:09:38

My baby has been prescribed antibiotics twice in his first year. Will this affect his resistance in the future?

cannotmakemymindup Sat 16-Dec-17 20:11:02

If you do have to take antibiotics how helpful are probiotics?
Im thinking actimal and similar in helping with related side affects of antibiotics - Upset stomach, nausea? Or are they more of a placebo?

It concerns me now with antibiotic resistance when I give them to DD, I feel guilty that I may be setting her up in the future for more serious illnesses. Her ear infections/ache just haven't cleared up without antibiotics. She just gets worse. Sorry last bit isn't a question just an observation.

asuwere Sat 16-Dec-17 21:31:22

Do you think there is a risk of people getting too worried about antibiotic resistance so delaying treatment and illnesses getting worse than they could've been?

madeyemoodysmum Sat 16-Dec-17 21:44:13

I'm allergic to penicillin and also very sensitive to the mycin group I will only take anti bis if I'm on deaths door now.
I'm interested in new antibiotics. How long to do realistically think these could take?

TellMeItsNotTrue Sat 16-Dec-17 22:28:22

I have frequent sinusitis and although I try everything else to prevent and treat it, it always ends up needing antibiotics. My Dr insists on trying a very common first use antibiotic each time but (although it works great on me for other things) It's never made a difference and I always end up with a second course of something else. I mention my reluctance and previous experience with them each time but he insists.

Is this sort of thing adding to the problem and is there anything I can do to help (other than bringing it up each time)

TracyBeakerSoYeah Sat 16-Dec-17 23:32:56

Obviously antibiotic resistance is a big issue, but I'm thinking the problem is being made worse as there appears to be no financial incentive for the big pharmaceuticals to develop new antibiotics.
As mentioned previously why can't you be tested at your GP's to see if you have a bacterial or viral infection?

itsbetterthanabox Sat 16-Dec-17 23:58:35

I’ve sometimes been given oral antibiotics rather than in drops, creams, sprays etc (skin or ear issues)
Is the oral antibiotic more of a problem than the external ones? Or are they equally problematic.
Some doctors have said later I didn’t need oral ones and that it’s old fashioned to give them for external problems.

Makkapakkasbestfriend Sun 17-Dec-17 09:53:50

Do you think that using long term low dose antibiotics (for example for moderate acne) is a risk in terms of becoming anti biotic resistant?

BlueTablecloth Sun 17-Dec-17 10:10:01

Is there a way to get antibiotics to keep in medicine box? I'm assuming not as most people wouldn't use them properly, but the year I got an infected wisdom tooth over a long Christmas bank holiday I would've been very appreciative.

NoStraightEdges Sun 17-Dec-17 10:13:35

My DM suffers from recurrent UTIs. Investigations show it's not a physiological issue, so they're considering prophylactic ABs for six months. How does that work in terms of resistance?

nanimobars Sun 17-Dec-17 11:07:19

How does antibiotic resistance work? For example, I have only had antibiotics about four times in my 35 years of life. Surely it is only resistant in the people who jump to the drs with every cough or sniffle and somehow manage to get antibiotics from the GP. So if I suddenly need some AB then I would be fine taking them and they would work because personally I've never over used them.

Also, if AB have been over used then this makes me think GP's should really be at fault here. Why were they prescribing them for things they must have known were viral?

ArgyMargy Sun 17-Dec-17 13:27:21

It's very unfortunate that you've reproduced Dr Sood's statement with obvious errors in it. It makes no sense and it's particularly daft to write "..because either because they are effective in treating viruses.."

Easylikeasonntagmorgan Sun 17-Dec-17 14:21:35

My daughter (aged 23 months) suffers often with blocked tear ducts and sometimes I find it difficult to differentiate between this and conjunctivitis. If her eyes do appear slightly red, is it better to wait and see if they become worse, or go to see my if my GP can prescribe antibiotics? Many thanks

lookatthestars Sun 17-Dec-17 14:32:49

I'm allergic to a couple of antibiotics. I'm keen to know how many different types there are? Which ones don't cause stomach pain? I'm also really interested to learn about the development of new anti biotics. I had read in the news of a new type that might be grown from fungi- might this be still going ahead? Many thanks for taking the time to do this thread. It's really interesting.

CheeseEMouse Sun 17-Dec-17 17:04:25

What can we do with antibiotics that we have finished the course with but still have some left (thinking stuff like eye drops?). Can i take them back to the pharmacy to be destroyed?

TracyBeakerSoYeah Sun 17-Dec-17 17:06:54

Another question from me. Do you think the use or overuse of antibiotics in the animal farming/meat industry is adding to the problem?

VivaLeBeaver Sun 17-Dec-17 17:12:51

I have a rare condition and see a professor at UCLH, my main treatment which I’m on is high dose abx which I’ve been on for four years now.

He reckons that abx overprescribing leading to resistance is not as much of an issue as the govt are saying. I do think that the real problem is routine use of abx in the food chain. I used to work on a chicken farm, when we had a new lorry load of chickens, they all got antibiotics on arrival.

Obviously people don’t need abx if it’s viral but do you think that the food chain issue needs sorting before telling women with a UTI who are in pain that because they’ve only got leukocytes and not nitrites on a dipstick that they can’t have abx?

ButterflyOfFreedom Sun 17-Dec-17 18:41:06

I'm a strong believer in prevention is better than the cure so have you any general advice on how to stay fit, healthy & germ free?

Thank you!

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