Skip to content

Announcements

Get the support and information you need for your behavior, development and health related questions.

For more information:
Health and Parenting Health Center
Raising fit Kids

Includes Expert Content
Kids Are Getting Too Many Antibiotics
avatar
Elizabeth_WebMD_Staff posted:
Think about how many times your kids have been prescribed antibiotics.

Check out this study: Kids Are Getting Too Many Antibiotics

Do you feel they are over prescribed?
Do you ask for antibiotics at any sign of runny nose or sore throat?


Elizabeth
Reply
FirstPrevious12NextLast
 
avatar
Baby1at35 responded:
I do not feel they are over prescribed. I never ask for antibotics I let my pedi decide if it is needed. I have noticed the way they prescribe is a bit different as well. Typically they tell me to wait it out a few days and if it worsens to call them and we will discuss antibotics. Most of the time they are better though.
 
avatar
FCL responded:
I never ask for antibiotics. I feel that it would be like I was telling the doc how to do his job

Right now I have a sick child at home. We saw the doc yesterday. He prescribed anti-inflammatories but no antibiotics. I left with my prescription and the instructions to call him if she got worse and we'd then consider antibiotics.

Nope, no over prescription here...
 
avatar
Roy Benaroch, MD replied to FCL's response:
Many docs feel that patients will be disappointed if they don't get a prescription, especially a prescription for antibiotics. I don't thing that's necessarily true, but it is a belief that many docs have. There are always some parents who want what they want, and are very vocal about it-- perhaps those experiences have created the false impression that all parents want antibiotics.

Docs and parents probably need to do a better job communicating about expectations.

Certainly, overall, antibiotics are way over-prescribed. Here's a quick quiz: which of these conditions should usually get antibiotics?

--Sore throat
--Cough
--Bronchitis
--Ear infections
--Fever

The answer is: none of these. Sore throat should only get antibiotics if a strep test is positive; almost all cough illnesses are caused by viral infections; bronchitis (unless in an elder smoker) is a viral illness; most ear infections in children > 2 years will get better without antibiotics; most fevers in the developed world are caused by viral infections. While all of these generalizations have caveats, they're nonetheless well-established medical facts. Do they agree with what you've been told and what you expect?
 
avatar
phoenix31674 responded:
My MIL and SIL are of the belief that when you are sick you need to be given something - generally antibiotic. Granted SIL's sons have all been prone to ear infections and other respiratory issues related to allergies. I think part of their issue is living in an overly clean environment and getting anti-bacterial soaped and cleansered all the time.

Amazingly my kids have never been sick enough I've had to take them to the doctor (4.5 years and 11 months), so it's never been an issue. DD did come down with something when we were at the inlaws house once and MIL suggested we take her to the CVS Minute Clinic (which does accept our insurance). I declined because I knew I would have to call the nurse line to get out of area approval and that her fever was not high enough to warrant to that. We were also pretty sure it was viral so nothing would have helped. She was over it in 2 days with nothing more than a little Tylenol to bring the fever down so she could sleep.

I do agree with the doc that you do have quite a few parents out there who think that a sick child must have a prescription from the doctor and that anti-biotics are a wonder drug that will cure all and don't realize it only works on bacterial infections. And when your kid is sick is a hard time to get educated.
 
avatar
fiannakyn replied to phoenix31674's response:
Growing up I do know I got Atibiotics a LOT. Enough that I am now sensitive to Penicillin due to over exposure.

So I do agree that antibiotics are over used- or at least were. My current doc doesn't RX me antibiotics unless its a for sure bacterial.

I hope my pediatrician will be the same way, or I'll try to steer him that way.
Vicky- Soon to be Foster parent! Lurking for advice.
 
avatar
nursingbug replied to fiannakyn's response:
my dd is three, and she is rarely so ill I take her to the doctor. I am a nurse and feel pretty comfortable taking care of simple things. I only take her if I am not sure what is going on. Every time I have done this, (maybe three times) her pedi has given her antibiotics. Every time he says, 'we generally don't prescribe antibiotics, but with her symptoms we can safely assume they are appropiate'. I never ask for antibiotics, so last time I told him he always prescribed them when we came in. He seemed suprised and a little uncomfortable, and checked her chart, and then we agreed to give me a script that I could fill if she did not improve. I never needed it.
I hope he doesn't think antibiotics is what I expect!
 
avatar
jps1964 responded:
They are definitely overprescribed but not as badly as in the past. When I was growing up, we took them for everything. The notion was that they wouldn't hurt you, but as usual, anything in excess can hurt you. I'm 47 and my kid is only 7. She had a lot of antibiotics mainly for ear infections and strep when she was younger, but she got tubes and a tonsillectomy and now she rarely has to take antibiotics. In her case, I truly believe they were needed. She would get a cold and they would tell me to wait it out, but then she would get an infection and her fever would shoot up to 104 or so. Our docs (hers and mine) are both pretty conservative in their prescribing habits, and they know I do NOT like antibiotics. Problem is -- the resistant germs are already out there.
 
avatar
jps1964 responded:
I forgot to say something...I keep hearing and reading docs saying that "the patients expect antibiotics." Well, doctors are the ones with the prescription pads and the authority to write scripts. If the patient is ordering you to write an antibiotic at gunpoint, that is the patient's fault. Otherwise, it's the doctor's responsibility to decide whether antibiotics are needed. Please don't risk public health and contribute to antibiotic resistance just because you are trying to appease an anxious parent or avoid being sued. Thank you!
 
avatar
FCL replied to jps1964's response:
And it's not the only thing that has been overused in the past. My MIL was horrified one day when she discovered that our local doc didn't give us an X-ray at every visit "just to be sure everything was all right...". I was staggered. Turned out that when my partner was a child, their family doctor had an X-ray machine and he used it EVERY time he saw a patient. Seemed that it reassured my MIL. So, as far as she was concerned, our doctor was incompetent
 
avatar
FosterMomOnterio responded:
My 2 week old foster baby was at the doctors yesterday and she said he has a "belly button" infection. Even though it was not pussy or swollen. I left the office with a jug of some form of cleaning wash, an oral antibiotic AND also a topical a antibiotic.

I felt that was way over prescribed and could have had one or the other or started on an over the counter cream first. When I called his social worker she just said we can't go against doctors orders and now that I have started him on both the oral and topical medications I feel kind of trapped into it.
 
avatar
arabianprincess0708 replied to jps1964's response:
I was a pharmacy technition for 3 years and let me tell you something Doc over prescribe EVERYTHING!!!! I cannot tell you how many patients were on so many drugs that i dreaded thier names popping up in my computer for the monthly fill ups. They would be on medications for the main problem, then something to counteract the sideeffects of that and then one for THOSE side effects and so on and so one. One person could have 20 scripts....for 4 to 5 illnesses. totally uncalled for. Now i know that I am no doctor and I am not a pharmasist, even though the pharmasists i worked with agreed with me...but there has got to be a limit!! Another problem that i saw besides the antibiotics were ADD and ADHD meds. Sometimes i felt that the meds for those children were more for the parents not for the child. Children are SUPPOSED to be hyper, they're kids! I totally agree also, that there are too many parents that rush thier kids to the dr everytime the child sneezes. All that does is lower a persons immune system therefore hurting them in the long run. I didnt really start getting sick intill after i had kids. And that was because the pregnancies lowered my immune system. I hardly ever take meds half the time i was forced to by the pharmacists i worked with. but my SB and SS were sick all the time because they were over medicated. Taken to the dr. everytime they sneezed (not being dramatic either...) I belive its parents AND Drs. who are the problem, parents who overreact to a sick child and drs who dont have the kahunas to stand up to a raving mother to has a child with the sniffles. I think they should go back to not telling patients what the medications were for....i know as a mother that its hard to see your child suffereing when they're sick but overmedicationg them is only going to make it worse. Both of my DD (4 and 3) have only been to the dr 3 times for sickness in thier lives and that was because thier fevers were too high for my tast and i couldnt afford OTC meds, so they gave me a sample. OK i am dont ranting, this is just a subject that I have strong opinions about....
 
avatar
Anon_475 replied to arabianprincess0708's response:
How can you possibly know what should or should not be prescribed just because of the number of scripts you see??? Like you said, you're not a doctor nor a "pharmasist"... Your opinion is your opinion and you're entitled to it but a doctor is professionally qualified to decide what is (or is not) needed for their patients. Much more so than a "pharmacy technition " who probably hasn't even set eyes on the patient.
 
avatar
CourtL94 replied to Roy Benaroch, MD's response:
Dr.,
My 14 year old son who is in perfect health, went to the dr. the other day for a fever. They did a strep and mono test that were both neg. She ordered him amoxocillin (sp) 2 times a day for 10 days. she diagnosed him with a sinus infection. That was on a Sunday and he had already had the low grade fever since Weds. The following Wednesday, I took him back to the Dr, who said he looked good and when I told him that the fever goes completely away during the day and comes back in early evening, still low grade...he said it is a virus that will have to run its course. and that a fever can last as long as virus is present. I think this may have been a bad call on the PAC's part for giving him antibiotic for what i think was viral to begin with. Anyway...he had a thorough exam and this is what I was left with. I have been taking his temp several times a day and I know it's getting on his nerves. How long will a fever go on?????
 
avatar
Elizabeth_WebMD_Staff replied to CourtL94's response:
Hi CourtL94 and Welcome!

Since your question is attached to this longer discussion, you may want to start a new discussion for your concerns.

Just go to the top of the page and click on the Discussion link beneath the orange Post Now button and go from there.

Let me know if you have any questions,
Elizabeth


Helpful Tips

Help kids learn to swallow pillsExpert
I found this inexpensive but clever cup a few years ago, and it helped my kids learn to swallow pills without a fuss: ... More
Was this Helpful?
17 of 26 found this helpful

Expert Blog

Child Health 411 - Ari Brown, MD

Educated parents are empowered parents! Get clear answers to your parenting questions from Dr. Ari Brown...Read More

Related News

There was an error with this newsfeed

Related Drug Reviews

  • Drug Name User Reviews

Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.