Why your doctor said no to the antibiotic

Prescription Drugs

By pH health care professionals

You’ve got a cold and some body aches. You believe you may need an antibiotic, but your doctor doesn’t want to write the prescription.

When doctors say not to take an antibiotic, they aren’t necessarily “denying” their patients. Rather, it’s a sign that they did a good physical exam and medical history, and determined that a virus is the cause of illness. Generally, the term “antibiotic “refers to medicine that is designed to kill bacteria. The reality is that most people who feel well enough to drive to a clinic or urgent care center likely have a virus. Bacterial pneumonias often feature high fevers, extreme fatigue and productive coughs (bring up mucus).

So why all the fervor about Z-packs and amoxicillin?

Z-packs became popular because they only take a few days to finish. They became one of the most overprescribed drugs in the United States. Amoxicillin has helped to fuel the antibiotic demand as well, because we see children getting it so frequently for ear infections and strep throat.

But what’s the problem?

Antibiotic resistance is rising, thanks to overprescribing and rampant use in the meat industry. The more antibiotics are used, the more bacteria figure out how to resist them. The CDC estimates that tens of thousands of lives are lost every year due to antibiotics simply not working because the bacteria have become too smart. Even worse, new antibiotics take years to develop. Most of the new ones tend to be IV antibiotics. That means that if you have a drug-resistant UTI or pneumonia, you could be stuck in the hospital for a week or more, getting the latest IV antibiotic that the bacteria haven’t yet outwitted. You may be stuck with a huge hospital bill.

What can you do?

If you are not sure why you (or your child) are not getting an antibiotic, ask your doctor for an explanation. He/she should be happy to walk you through the evidence. If your doctor prescribes Z-packs at the drop of a hat, consider picking a new doctor.  Close your wallet to antibiotic-raised meat. If you do have a bacterial infection like a UTI, ask your doctor how to prevent it from recurring. Beating antibiotic resistance requires the efforts of everyone.

Enjoy Your Healthy Life!

 The pH professional health care team includes recognized experts from a variety of health care and related disciplines, including physicians, attorneys, nutritionists, nurses and certified fitness instructors. This team also includes the members of the pH Medical Advisory Board, which constantly monitors all pH programs, products and services. To learn more about the pH Medical Advisory Board, click here.