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About 40% of the time kids see a doctor, they leave with a prescription for antibiotics. This astounding figure includes sick visits and routine well-child checkups. Antibiotics are wonderful, life-saving tools, but their overuse is dangerous. Because antibiotics were such a revolutionary advance in the treatment of infectious diseases, doctors slipped into the habit of prescribing them for minor illnesses, even those known to be viral, just to "be on the safe side." They also thought they might help the child get better a bit faster. Now we know that the opposite is true. This practice is harmful to children and to the environment by selectively breeding ever-more frightening bacteria. Children may get better a bit quicker at first, but then they are likely to get sick more often, with longer, more stubborn infections caused by more resistant organisms. The routine use of antibiotics makes life worse for children and parents--even apart from the side effects and allergic reactions many children have. To be on the safe side, antibiotics should be withheld unless they are clearly needed. Nevertheless, up to 60 % of children with common colds are treated with antibiotics (Journal of Family Practice 1996; 42:357--361). Because children average three to eight colds each year, most accompanied by green or yellow runny noses, they can get many, many rounds of unnecessary (and therefore harmful) antibiotics. Why do we still do this? There are many reasons, but the one cited most frequently by physicians is that parents want or expect a prescription (Pediatrics 1998; 101:163--165). Admittedly, we physicians should know better. But when we see you in the office, things sometimes get muddled. Your child has a fever and is cranky. His or her nose has been running for 5 days, and the mucus is getting thick and green. His or her appetite is down, and no one is sleeping well. You've waited for this to get better on its own, but it is getting worse. And you can't afford to miss more work. We want to be able to help you and your child get through this faster. Prescribing an antibiotic this one time won't hurt--much. I will teach you one sentence that can greatly improve your child's health. Use this tool before the doctor even examines your child. When you are explaining why you came in, add the sentence, "If there is any way to safely help her feel better without antibiotics, that is what I would prefer." When not to use antibiotics! Recognizing the urgent problem of antibiotic overuse, the Centers for Disease Control and the Academy of Pediatrics have issued guidelines for when to use (and when not to use) antibiotics for the most common pediatric respiratory infections (Pediatrics 1998; 101:163-184 and Pediatrics 2004; 113:1451-1465). Ear infections, sinus infections, bronchitis, sore throats, and colds account for three fourths of all antibiotic prescriptions. These guidelines should not be rigidly adhered to for every child, but they do give a good general idea of when to avoid antibiotics. I will summarize the guidelines for you. Read more: I will not explain each statement, but you can use them as excellent discussion points with your physician: Sore Throats 1. 2. Strep throat is diagnosed with a Strep test, not by looking in the mouth. Antibiotics should not be given for sore throats without a positive test for Strep or another bacterial infection.

fussiness. Children with severe symptoms (facial swelling. antibiotics are probably not helpful. Antibiotics should not be given for the common cold. Continued fluid in the ear found at an ear recheck after AOM is to be expected and does not necessitate another round of antibiotics. facial pain. Not all ear infections are the same. eardrum pain. and changes in sleep pattern can accompany either AOM or OME and do not establish a diagnosis of AOM. 2. a fever over 103) may benefit from earlier treatment. after three or more separate cases of documented AOM in 6 months or four or more in 12 months. If severe symptoms (moderate to severe pain or fever above 102.3. nonsevere AOM may be better off observed without antibiotics for 48-72 hours. One of the penicillins (not the newer. 2. 2. one round of antibiotics may be worthwhile. Ear pulling. Healthy children greater than 2 years of age with uncomplicated. Colds 1. antibiotics can be prescribed at the time. 3.2 degrees) develop or the child is not better in 48-72 hours. Use the most narrow-spectrum antibiotic possible. antibiotics are a vital part . OME is important in that it reduces hearing when present. Preventive antibiotics should only be given. Half of young children with colds get OME. Most children with ear infections have OME -. Ear Infections 1. except in the less common situation where signs of acute infection are still present. 3. Occasionally.fluid in the ear without signs of an acute middle ear infection. distinct redness of the eardrum. if the cough has lasted for more than 10 days and specific bacteria are suspected. Children with underlying lung disease (not including asthma) might also benefit from antibiotics when their diseases flare up. Most children should not be given antibiotics for a sinus infection unless there are both nasal discharge and cough without any improvement after more than 10 to 14 days. Antibiotics may be appropriate for AOM with documented fluid in the ear and clear signs of acute illness. discolored nasal discharge is a normal part of a cold and is not a reason for antibiotics unless it lasts longer than 10 to 14 days. 4. or discharge from the ear. although they may be worth a try if OME lasts for longer than 3 months. Regardless of how long it lasts. bronchitis or a nonspecific cough illness in children rarely warrants antibiotics. Occasionally. Sinus Infections 1. if at all. broad-spectrum antibiotics) is the best choice unless the child is allergic to it. A red eardrum without fluid is not AOM (or OME for that matter). If there is some improvement by day 10. 5. Children fight off most childhood illnesses better without antibiotics. Thick. The Ear Check Middle Ear Monitor is a good way to confirm the presence of fluid. AOM is fluid in the ear accompanied by signs such as pus behind the eardrum. 2. The physician's job is to gently treat children with uncomfortable symptoms so they can get the rest and fluids they need. Bronchitis 1. Antibiotics are not useful for the initial treatment of OME. but antibiotics are usually not the solution. runny nose. Treatment for pain with pain relievers is appropriate. Each ear infection should be classified as acute otitis media (AOM) or otitis media with effusion (OME).

There are occasions. however. A bacteriostatic stops bacteria from multiplying. The first antibiotic was penicillin. How do antibiotics work? Although there are a number of different types of antibiotic they all work in one of two ways: y y A bactericidal antibiotic kills the bacteria. If antibiotics are overused or used incorrectly there is a chance that the bacteria will become resistant the antibiotic becomes less effective against that type of bacterium. Aerobic bacteria need oxygen. Some bacteria are not harmful. The good news is that more parents and more physicians seem to be aware of the dangers of antibiotic overuse. In my own experience. I see more physicians explain why they are not prescribing antibiotics and more parents willing to ³wait out´ their children¶s infections. amoxicillin and benzylpenicilllin are widely used today to treat a variety of infections . while others work against anaerobic bacteria. If you have an infection it is important to know whether it is caused by bacteria or a virus. while others are good for us. Such penicillin-related antibiotics as ampicillin. A narrow-spectrum antibiotic is only effective against a few types of bacteria. practicing and teaching pediatric medicine. Equipped with this information. I am hopeful that soon we will see studies documenting a decrease in antibiotic overuse. Most upper respiratory tract infections. However.of the healing process. Penicillin is a bactericidal. The singular word for bacteria is bacterium. our immune system can usually cope and fight off the infection. salmonella. Even if symptoms do occur. Before bacteria can multiply and cause symptoms our immune system can usually destroy them. when it is all too much and our bodies need some help . . What are antibiotics for? An antibiotic is given for the treatment of an infection caused by bacteria. they are not effective against viruses. such as the common cold and sore throats are generally caused by viruses antibiotics do not work against these viruses.these antibiotics have been around for a long time.from antibiotics. syphilis and some forms of meningitis are caused by bacteria. There are several different types of modern antibiotics and they are only available with a doctor's prescription in industrialized countries. A bactericidal usually either interferes with the formation of the bacterium's cell wall or its cell contents.' Antibiotics are also known as antibacterials. Antibiotics target microorganisms such as bacteria. while anaerobic bacteria don't. fungi and parasites. and they are drugs used to treat infections caused by bacteria. Such illnesses as tuberculosis. The word antibiotic comes from the Greek anti meaning 'against' and bios meaning 'life' (a bacterium is a life form). At Stanford University and throughout the nation. There are antibiotics that attack aerobic bacteria. A broad-spectrum antibiotic can be used to treat a wide range of infections. you are in an excellent position to remove the "pressure to prescribe" and to work with your doctor to offer your child the very best care. Bacteria are tiny organisms that can sometimes cause illness to humans and animals. We have special white blood cells that attack harmful bacteria. the next generation of doctors is being taught the guidelines above.

If you have ever had an allergic .Conduct endoscopy with dry cool RUT Result in 3 minutes.especially penicillins. may experience inflamed bowels (a type of colitis) which can lead to severe diarrhea. Side effects might include a rash.pylori Rapid UreaseTest . penicillins. They are commonly used before bowel and orthopedic Antibiotics may be given beforehand. This is called 'prophylactic' use of Prevent Oral Infections . cephalosporins and erythromycin might do too. Clindamycin. commonly has this side effect. swelling of the tongue and face. although much less Anti Dandruff Solution .Head & Shoulders Rids More Dandruff In Just One Wash. to prevent infection.HeadandShoulders.Ads by Google H. an antibiotic used for the most serious infections. save specimen www.Choose Colgate Toothpastes. Order Free Sample www. and difficulty breathing. What are the side-effects of antibiotics? Below is a list of the most common side-effects of antibiotics: y y y Diarrhea Feeling and being sick Fungal infections of the World Leaders In Oral Care Products! Visit our specialized news sections MRSA News Biology / Biochemistry News Infectious Diseases / Bacteria / Viruses News Tropical Diseases News Bioterrorism News Allergic reactions to antibiotics Some patients may develop an allergic reaction to antibiotics . However. digestive tract and vagina Below is a list of rare side-effects of antibiotics: y y y y y Formation of kidney stones (when taking sulphonamides) Abnormal blood clotting (when taking some cephalosporins) Sensitivity to sun (when taking tetracyclines) Blood disorders (when taking trimethoprim) Deafness (when taking erythromycin and the aminoglycosides) Some patients. especially elderly ones. as might be the case before surgery.

OTC (over the counter. non-prescription) medicines might also clash with your antibiotic. . or two hours after. you still need to complete the course. Some antibiotics should not be consumed with certain foods and drinks. or applied directly to the affected part of the body. Others should not be taken with food in your stomach . Even if you are feeling better. It is important to remember to complete the whole course of the medication to prevent the infection from coming back. It is crucial that you follow the instructions correctly if you want the medication to be effective. and sometimes fatal . and some other antibiotics may undermine the effectiveness of oral contraceptives. Reactions to antibiotics can be very serious. however. as they might affect the absorption of the medication. If the antibiotic has caused diarrhea/vomiting the absorption of contraceptives may also be disrupted. You are pregnant You are breastfeeding Antibiotics may clash (interact) with other medicines If you are taking an antibiotic do not take other medicines or herbal remedies without telling your doctor first. If you are taking metronidazole do not consume alcohol.these would normally be taken about an hour before meals. Penicillins. If you are taking any of these drugs you should consider taking additional contraceptive precautions.reaction to an antibiotic you must tell your doctor and/or pharmacist. Use antibiotics with extreme caution and ensure you inform your doctor/pharmacist if: y y y You have reduced liver or kidney function. they can also be administered by injection. cephalosporins. there is a higher chance the bacteria may become resistant to future treatments because the ones that survive when you did not complete the course have had some exposure to the antibiotic and may consequently have built up a resistance to it.they are called anaphylactic reactions. How to use antibiotics Antibiotics are usually taken by mouth (orally). Most antibiotics start having an effect on an infection within a few hours. If you do not complete the course. Dairy products should not be consumed if you are taking tetracyclines.