Antibiotics, anti-antibiotics, and anti-anti-antibiotics …

First, the disclaimer: I’m not a doctor, I don’t play one on TV, and I don’t dispense medical advice … I just report things that I think might be of interest.

This one has two tracks: urgent care clinics and antibiotics.

Loyal readers know that I’m a proponent of Nurse Practitioners, Physician Assistants and Urgent Care Clinics.

 

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Here’s the story …

 

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Recently, my son and I got inflicted by a similar illness … lots of congestion, sore throat, etc.

For both of us, the symptoms lingered and lingered and lingered.

After a couple of weeks, I went to a slick walk-in clinic — that I’d been to before — called Patients First.

The Physician’s Assistant, checked me out … explained that it could be allergies, a sinus infection, viral or bacterial. His view: hard to know which it was.

He queried my medical history: saw very limited use of antibiotics (i.e. a dose every couple of years) … and prescribed some steroids and antibiotics … figuring they might help, and wouldn’t hurt since I’m not a frequent antibiotics user.

My son went to a different walk-in clinic. The nurse said it was viral and sent him on his way with no prescription.

My symptoms began to improve, almost instantaneously.

My son’s symptoms lingered.

He went back to the same walk-in and got the same drill … it’s viral, suck it up, no prescription.

His symptoms started getting even worse, so he went to an ear, nose and throat specialist who looked in his throat … declared “you’ve got an obvious bacterial infection” … wrote out a prescription for some broad spectrum antibiotics.

Bingo.

Within days, the symptoms started to subside

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What’s the moral of the story?

Here are my conclusions …

1) Not all walk-in clinics are created equal … find one that works for you … and if symptoms persist, GO SOMEPLACE ELSE!

2) It is true that frequent use of antibiotics can eventually cause some serious complications … most notably, resistance to the antibiotic … which may mean that you’re screwed when you need it the most.

3) But, if you’ve got something like a sore throat that persists for weeks and you rarely take antibiotics, pressure the provider for a prescription … the upside may outweigh the downside … so at least force the discussion … cringe when you hear “it’s just viral” and focus the discussion on how often you take antibiotics   Of course,  be careful re: overuse — those downsides are real.

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Again, I don’t dish medical advice … just thought this was a potentially interesting story.

Here’s to your good health.

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#HomaFiles

Follow on Twitter @KenHoma            >> Latest Posts

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