When people feel sick enough to visit their health care professional, most times they aren’t seeking advice - what they want is something to make them feel better. It’s causing conditions like sinusitis to get medication guideline makeover.
“If it’s been going on for more than 10 days and having what’s called a purulent drainage, having a fever, worsening headache - that’s when it’s usually bacterial and warrants antibiotics,” says Arlene Wright nurse practitioner with Lee Memorial Health System.
Despite best efforts at education and persuasion, sinusitis, bronchitis and sore throats are still generating too many prescriptions. It’s prompted the CDC to warn a crisis may be coming.
“What has happened due to overuse, we’ve developed what’s called antibacterial resistance. So you have to be very contentious - that’s why guidelines have changed,” says Wright.
The biggest culprits may be coming from the pediatric population. Only it’s well meaning moms and dads lobbying for medications to help their little ones who are hurting; earaches standout as one of the top pill prescriptions.
“Less than 10 years ago, maybe even six or seven years ago, we had about 10 or 12 oral antibiotics that would work on most ear infections. But we’re really down to three or four now. Because the germs are now resistant,” says Dr. Martin Sherman, pediatrician with Lee Memorial Health System.
A doctor’s best defense may come through arming the public with facts. These common complaints, if they’re viral in nature, don’t respond to antibiotics. Taking them is a waste of time, money and your body’s defenses.