Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Antibiotics- not a cure all !

For some reasons, a lot of people have the misconception that antibiotics can pretty much cure anything or everything that are ailing them. For example, somebody with sore throat, itchy throat, cough, stomach flu, toothache, foot pain with no open wounds, stomach pain, diarrhea, headache, bodyache, and etc, would request for antbiotics. A lot of these symptoms do not require antibiotics.

I get requests from customers every single day for antibiotics. The conversation will go something like this:-
Customer: I don't want to see my doctor. I have a sore throat. I don't have a fever. Just get me some antibiotics.
Me: As much as I would like to make a few dollars off of you, I can't sell the antibiotics without a prescription.  Antibiotics help with bacterial infections. If you do not have bacterial infections, you are  medicating yourself unnecessarily. Even if you have a cold that's most likely due to viral infection, you do not need an antibiotic. You need hydration and rest while your body recuperate.
Customer: Well, I only need it for a few days. I know if I take it for 3 days, I'll feel better.
Me: Well, most sore throat goes away by itself after 3 days. Besides, your sore throat could be due to allergies, irritants or something else. If you have a fever, then maybe you should go to the doctor.
Customer: No, I don't want to spend money to see a doctor. Look, I'll just pay you cash.
Me: Sorry, still can't sell the antibiotics to you without a prescription.

There are reasons why antibiotics are prescription item. Antibiotics should only be used as indicated per your doctor's discretion. It's not candy that you can simply pop into your mouth to feel good. It's not a cure all. Do not self medicate unnecessarily.

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