Here is a great little post about the use and overuse of antibiotics from an ER physician blog, entitled, "We are so screwed." We all know that it is easier to write a script for someone demanding antibiotics rather than explain the risks, benefits and commitment of taking antibiotics. It is so important to not give in. I'll never forget the patient that I saw with a 1-2 day history of nasal congestion and very mild symptoms. I went into my whole routine of explaining why I felt her condition was viral and antibiotics weren't necessary. After that whole little dialogue, I asked her if she had any questions and she says, "Uhh, can't I just get a Z-Pak?" What??? Were you even listening for the past 3 minutes??? (FYI, I did not write for the Z-Pak.) I'll never understand the rationale of wanting to take a medication that isn't clearly indicated, can cause gastrointestinal issues, can be expensive and is usually a commitment for 10 days (that's 1/3 of a month!)
I also came across a blurb about the CDC's "Get Smart" campaign. This campaign has been around since the mid 1990's and its main goal is to increase public education about the proper uses of antibiotics in the hopes of driving down the expectation of receiving antibiotics for common respiratory illnesses (common cold, ear infection, sinus infection, bronchitis, etc) and to help curb antibiotic resistance. The CDC has even designated October 6-10, 2008 as "Get Smart About Antibiotics Week" to increase the awareness among patients and clinicians, so mark your calendars!
Have a great weekend and Happy Mother's Day to all Mom's out there!