What Else Do You Need To Make Your Decision
Check the facts
- Youâre right. Most of the time, sore throats go away on their own. It may take a few days or up to a week, depending on the cause.
- Sorry, thatâs not right. Most of the time, sore throats go away on their own. It may take a few days or up to a week, depending on the cause.
- It may help to go back and read âGet the Facts.â Most of the time, sore throats go away on their own. It may take a few days or up to a week, depending on the cause.
- Youâre right. Taking antibiotics too often or when you donât need them can be harmful and costly. The medicine may not work the next time you take it when you really do need it.
- Sorry, thatâs not right. Taking antibiotics too often or when you donât need them can be harmful and costly. The medicine may not work the next time you take it when you really do need it.
- It may help to go back and read âGet the Facts.â Taking antibiotics too often or when you donât need them can be harmful and costly. The medicine may not work the next time you take it when you really do need it.
What You Can Do
- Save antibiotics for bacterial infections when your child really needs them
- Don’t pressure your child’s doctor for an antibiotic
- Treat your child’s cold and cough symptoms with home treatment that works
- Keep in mind that fever is fighting the infection. It also boosts the immune system to prevent future infections.
When Do You Really Need Antibiotics For That Sinus Infection
- By Monique Tello, MD, MPH, Contributor
It was February, and clinic was teeming with respiratory infections of all kinds: mostly the common cold, but also bronchitis, pneumonia, and sinus infections. The patients were coming in usually thinking that they needed antibiotics for their sinus infection, or another respiratory infection.The first patient on my schedule was a healthcare provider with sinus infection written down as her main issue.* Shed had about two weeks of nasal and sinus congestion which she blamed on a viral upper respiratory infection . Her two young kids had been sick with colds all winter, so she wasnt surprised to have these symptoms, along with endless postnasal drip and a cough.
Her congestion had improved a bit at one point, and she thought that she was finally getting better. But then, the day before her appointment, she awoke with throbbing pain between her eyes, completely blocked nasal passages, and, more concerning to her, green pus oozing from her left tear duct. She had body aches, chills, and extreme fatigue.
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Treatment Of Bacterial And Viral Infections
The discovery of antibiotics for bacterial infections is considered one of the most important breakthroughs in medical history. Unfortunately, bacteria are very adaptable, and the overuse of antibiotics has made many of them resistant to antibiotics. This has created serious problems, especially in hospital settings.
Antibiotics are not effective against viruses, and many leading organizations now recommend against using antibiotics unless there is clear evidence of a bacterial infection.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, vaccines have been developed. Vaccines have drastically reduced the number of new cases of viral diseases such as polio, measles, and chickenpox. In addition, vaccines can prevent such infections such as the flu, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, human papillomavirus , and others.
But the treatment of viral infections has proved more challenging, primarily because viruses are relatively tiny and reproduce inside cells. For some viral diseases, such as herpes simplex virus infections, HIV/AIDS, and influenza, antiviral medications have become available. But the use of antiviral medications has been associated with the development of drug-resistant microbes.
When Should You See A Doctor
Dr. Prices advice is to trust your gut. You should see a doctor if you are concerned about any infection, he said. It is hard to have definite rules about when to see a medical provider because every person is different. One person may get really sick with an infection while another may do just fine.
That said, there are some symptoms you should have evaluated:
- Trouble breathing
- Not being able to keep fluids down/dehydration
- Not waking up or not acting normally
- Seizure with a fever
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How Does Antibiotic Resistance Occur
According to the CDC, each year, at least 2.8 million people in the U.S. become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics and at least 35,000 people die as a direct result of these infections.
In general terms, antibiotic resistance can occur when bacteria learn to fight off the antibiotic.
- Antibiotics work by interfering with the bacterial cell wall and prevent bacteria from making copies of themselves. However, many of these drugs have been widely used for a long period of time, overused, or used inappropriately.
- Antibiotics are designed to kill specific bacteria. But over time bacteria learn to adapt to the medicine, making the drug less effective.
- Bacteria fights back against a drug in many ways:
- by producing enzymes that can inactivate the antibiotic
Signs You Need To Take Antibiotics
You may have heard of the overuse of antibiotics. The point of antibiotics is to kill bacteria that can make you extremely ill. There are times that people use antibiotics when they dont actually need them, but then there are also cases where people dont use them when theyre the only way to fight against infection.
Before assuming you dont need a doctor and you can avoid antibiotics, listen to your body and look at all your symptoms. You want to do the best thing for your health and your body.
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Most Sinus Infections Dont Require Antibiotics
Ah, . The New England Journal of Medicine published a clinical practice review of acute sinus infections in adults, that is, sinus infections of up to four weeks. The need for an updated review was likely spurred by the disconcerting fact that while the vast majority of acute sinus infections will improve or even clear on their own without antibiotics within one to two weeks, most end up being treated with antibiotics.
It is this discrepancy that has clinical researchers and public health folks jumping up and down in alarm, because more unnecessary prescriptions for antibiotics mean more side effects and higher bacterial resistance rates. But on the other hand, while 85% of sinus infections improve or clear on their own, theres the 15% that do not. Potential complications are rare, but serious, and include brain infections, even abscesses.
Which Antivirals Does The Cdc Recommend
The CDC recommends baloxavir marboxil , oseltamivir , peramivir , and zanamivir for flu. They are most effective when given within 48 hours after symptoms start to appear. These flu drugs can decrease the duration of the flu by one to two days if used within this early time period. Oseltamivir , and zanamivir are usually given for a period of five days to treat the flu. For flu prevention, they are typically used for at least 7 days. In some cases, antivirals may be given for longer periods of time. For prevention of flu, antiviral drugs may be given for at least 7 days. In some cases, antivirals may be given for longer periods of time.
Oseltamivir is approved for treatment in those over 2 weeks of age and for prevention in people ages 3 months and older.
Peramivir, given in one intravenous dose, is approved for people ages 2 and older.
Zanamivir, an inhaled medication, is approved for treatment of people ages 7 and older and for prevention in people ages 5 and older.
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Colds And Flu: Do You Need Antibiotics
- Colds and Flu: Do You Need Antibiotics?
COVID-19 has significantly changed the way we consider even minor coughs and cold-like symptoms. UR Medicine Primary Care‘s Dr. Michael Gavin offers advice on what to look for, when to call to your doctor, and whether or not antibiotics can help.
With winter upon us and another rise in COVID cases, we are seeing more and more coughs and colds. COVID-19 has significantly changed the way we consider even minor coughs and cold-like symptoms. To make matters more complicated, we’re seeing a return of non-COVID viruses such as RSV, Coxsackie , as well as stomach viruses. While there is a significant amount of information on the internet, its hard to determine what to trust.
Hundreds of different viruses can cause colds. Unfortunately, its almost impossible to tell at this time without testing to determine whether someone has COVID, or if they have another viral illness. When in doubt, contact your doctor, or get yourself tested for COVID if you have a fever or higher, chills, severe body aches or fatigue, congestion or runny nose, sore throat, loss of taste or smell, cough, shortness of breath, vomiting, or diarrhea. For accurate updates on COVID, I recommend following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, and the University of Rochester Medical Center webpages.
If you test negative for COVID and still have cold-like symptoms, remember:
Have a safe and healthy winter!
Antibiotics: When You Need Them And When You Dont
Antibiotics often are seen as wonder drugs. And in many ways they are. Antibiotics revolutionized medicine and have saved countless lives over the past century. Unfortunately, many health care providers now rely too heavily on antibiotics and prescribe them when they arent necessary. Patients also have come to expect and even demand antibiotics every time they get sick.Nearly one-third of the antibiotics prescribed in the United States arent appropriate for the conditions being treated, according to a May 2016 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association .Why is this a problem? Because its led to a surge in antibiotic-resistant bacteria that are becoming increasingly difficult to treat. In fact, the first bacteria resistant to last-resort antibiotic treatment was identified in the United States in May 2016.If your doctor prescribes an antibiotic , learn which conditions they can treat, why antibiotic resistant infections are so scary, and how doctors and patients can be smarter about antibiotic use.
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Conditions Are Often Treated With These Drugs But Shouldnt Be
Every year doctors prescribe millions of antibiotics. But up to 43 percent of the antibiotics prescribed in doctors offices could be unnecessary, according to a nationally representative study published in the journal BMJ on Dec. 11.
Unless an infection is caused by bacteriawhich is usually not the casethe drugs will have no effect.
And antibiotics can cause serious side effects, says Lauri Hicks, D.O., a medical epidemiologist and head of the Centers for Disease Controls program Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work. These can include allergic reactions as well as an infection called C. difficile, which can cause severeand sometimes deadlydiarrhea.
Plus, she says, the more bacteria are exposed to antibiotics, the less likely they are to respond to the drugs. You increase your risk of developing an antibiotic-resistant infection the more antibiotics that you take, Hicks notes.
Doctors know that, but they often prescribe antibiotics anyway, in part because patients expect it.
Here are six conditions where its wise to question the use of antibiotics.
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What Is A Bacterial Infection
Most of the time, bacteria is friendly. These microorganisms that have only one cell can practically be found everywhere. The ones that we have in our intestines are basically harmless with some aiding in digestion, and some even aiding our ability to fight off microbes that cause diseases.
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, less than one percent of bacteria can actually cause illnesses in people. Examples of bacterial infections are urinary tract infections , tuberculosis, and strep throat.
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How Is A Viral Infection Diagnosed
A health professional uses a needle to take a blood sample, usually from the arm. A tissue sample can be taken directly from the infection, such as a throat swab or skin scraping. A sample of stool, urine, or nasal washings may be taken. A sample of spinal fluid can be taken through a lumbar puncture .
The Bodys Response To Viral Infection
Viruses pose a considerable challenge to the bodys immune system because they hide inside cells. This makes it difficult for antibodies to reach them. Some special immune system cells, called T-lymphocytes, can recognise and kill cells containing viruses, since the surface of infected cells is changed when the virus begins to multiply. Many viruses, when released from infected cells, will be effectively knocked out by antibodies that have been produced in response to infection or previous immunisation.
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Easy Ways Of Making Yourself Feel Better
The CDC gave a long list of other ways on how you can get relief from your symptoms. Aside from drinking plenty of water and other liquids, consider the list below your natural antibiotic for both bacterial and viral infections. Make sure to consult with a doctor before trying any of these alternatives.
The Differences Between Bacteria And Viruses
Although bacteria and viruses are both too small to be seen without a microscope, they’re as different as giraffes and goldfish.
Bacteria are relatively complex, single-celled creatures, many with a rigid wall, and a thin, rubbery membrane surrounding the fluid inside the cell. They can reproduce on their own. Fossilized records show that bacteria have existed for about 3.5 billion years, and bacteria can survive in different environments, including extreme heat and cold, radioactive waste, and the human body.
Most bacteria are harmless, and some actually help by digesting food, destroying disease-causing microbes, fighting cancer cells, and providing essential nutrients. Fewer than 1% of bacteria cause diseases in people.
Viruses are tinier: the largest of them are smaller than the smallest bacteria. All they have is a protein coat and a core of genetic material, either RNA or DNA. Unlike bacteria, viruses can’t survive without a host. They can only reproduce by attaching themselves to cells. In most cases, they reprogram the cells to make new viruses until the cells burst and die. In other cases, they turn normal cells into malignant or cancerous cells.
Also unlike bacteria, most viruses do cause disease, and they’re quite specific about the cells they attack. For example, certain viruses attack cells in the liver, respiratory system, or blood. In some cases, viruses target bacteria.
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Are You Contagious If You Have A Viral Infection
You’re contagious before you have symptoms during the incubation period, when the virus enters your system. And just because you feel better doesn’t mean those around you are safe. In fact, you’re still contagious after symptoms subside, carrying a bacterial or viral infection that can spread to others.
When Are Antibiotics Needed
This complicated question, which should be answered by your healthcare provider, depends on the specific diagnosis. For example, there are several types of ear infectionsmost need antibiotics, but some do not. Most cases of sore throat are caused by viruses. One kind, strep throat, diagnosed by a lab test, needs antibiotics.
Common viral infections, like coughs or a cold, can sometimes become complicated and a bacterial infection can develop. However, treating viral infections with antibiotics in order to prevent bacterial infections is not recommended because of the risk of causing bacterial resistance:
Remember that antibiotics do not work against viral colds and the flu, and that unnecessary antibiotics can be harmful.
Talk with your healthcare provider about antibiotics and find out about the differences between viruses and bacteria, and when antibiotics should and should not be used.
If your child receives an antibiotic, be sure to give it exactly as prescribed to decrease the development of resistant bacteria. Have your child finish the entire prescription. Don’t stop when the symptoms of infection go away.
Never save the left over antibiotics to use “just in case.” This practice can also lead to bacterial resistance.
Do not share your antibiotics with someone else or take an antibiotic that was prescribed for someone else.
Antibiotic resistance is a problem in both children and adults.
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Do You Need Antibiotics For A Viral Infection
Even if the mucus is thick, yellow, or green, antibiotics do not work on viruses that cause colds, flu, bronchitis, or runny noses. Antibiotics are only required to treat some bacterial illnesses, and certain bacterial infections may be treated without the use of antibiotics. For example, strep throat requires treatment with an antibiotic, but sore throats caused by bacteria usually do not.
Antibiotics kill both good and bad bacteria, so they should not be used unless really necessary. When they are needed, their use should be limited to as short a time as possible. They may also cause side effects such as diarrhea, nausea, allergic reactions, thrush , kidney problems, and skin rashes. If you stop taking antibiotics prematurely, this can allow bacteria to build up in your body, causing another illness called “antibiotic-resistant bacteria”.
Some people are allergic to antibiotics and these drugs cannot be used to treat them. More than 100 different types of allergies to medications are known, but most involve the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, muscles, nerves, or blood. The only allergy that has been reported to antibiotics is an allergy to penicillin. People who suffer from this type of allergy should avoid all forms of penicillin because any drug that contains penicillium not only treats infections caused by bacteria, but also treats some types of fungus.
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