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Dr. Rob’s Antibiotic Myths

March 8, 2008

With $4 antibiotic prescription availability popping up everywhere, you might be tempted to ask for or take these drugs “just in case.” For many of your common ailments, however, they’re neither needed nor effective. “Dr. Rob” addresses this very issue in his piece (intended as a patient handout), Common myths about infections and antibiotics. His list of common misconceptions includes:

  • If mucous is green, it is time for antibiotics.
  • When a fever starts, it is time for antibiotics.
  • Sinus pain means you need antibiotics.
  • Bronchitis requires antibiotics.

See his post for explanations of these and other common myths, and why it’s important to use antibiotics appropriately.

The husband recently had a little bronchitis – he didn’t really need medical care, but did need a note for work (aggravating – sometimes bureaucracy overrides the best medical judgment, and common sense to boot). He was told to keep doing what he was doing (rest, liquids, a mucous loosener), and given, on a Friday, an antibiotic prescription, and was told *only* to use it if he didn’t get better. Sure enough, he was ready to work on Monday, prescription unfilled. Your mileage may vary, but do keep in mind Dr. Rob’s (and your own healthcare provider’s) advice. The CDC also has a good set of frequently asked questions to help people understand antibiotic resistance and the best use of the drugs.


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