disease progression if antibiotics aren't used?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by Rendar5, Apr 7, 2004.

  1. Rendar5

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    I'm already allergic to 4 major families of antibiotics, so I do have a personal interest in this. Since I'm not in med school until next year, I don't have the resources to look up info on disease progression without antibiotic treatment.

    So can someone tell me what happens in basic diseases, like tonsilitis, strep throat, middle ear infections, if I refuse antibiotic treatment on them (of course I'd accept such a treatment for more severe illnesses, though. That's why I'm only asking for the more common ones for me to get).
     
  2. edmadison

    edmadison 1K Member
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    This vast majority of illness treated with antibiotics are viruses. Additionally, some of the bacterial intections treated wil likely go away in time, such as bronchitis and sinusitis. Thus most antibiotic scripts are probably unecessary. That being said, some very simple infections can have very serious sequelae if left untreated. Strep throat can cause rheumatic fever and a simple UTI could lead to pyelonephritis or sepsis.

    You should really discuss this with your doctor. For some, desensitization is possible. Also, many who have been diagnosed as allergic arn't really allergic or have less severe allergies and can tolerate the medicine -- perhaps using some anti-allergy medicines at the same time.

    Ed
     
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  3. Kalel

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    I agree with the advise of seeing a doctor, specifically an allergist. If you really are allergic to 4 major classes of antibiotics, then you may have some difficulty when you have a real bacterial illness that requires treatment (it's much easier to see an allergist and figure out your true allergies and what can be done with them when you are healthy). A lot of patients get inappropriately diagnosed as having an "allergy" to something because they develop a rash (could be a viral rash, or mono), GI discomfort, etc. A lot of patients lose their allergies to medication over time too. And as a young, otherwise healthy person, there are very few things that antibiotics are really indicated for. As the previous user mentioned, strep throat is one of them, but most illnesses you will acquire will either be viral illnesses or they will be bacterial illnesses that your body is capable of resolving on it's own. Tonsillitis is not an indication for antibiotics unless it is caused by strep or if there is some sort of peritonisllar abscess that needs to be drained too. Personally, I'd get a new primary care doctor if he or she is giving antibiotics everytime you see him or her and complain of the sniffles.
     
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  4. Rendar5

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    well, I do have a new PCP. and I did see an allergist. definitely allergic to penicillins (still don't know how my pediatrician got that one right when I was 15 since the only symptom I remember was on the second day of my regimen, throwing up right after taking the antibiotic) and tested positive for that. cechlor and sulfa were definite allergies when I was young (cechlor I think is a different family from cillins).

    Then had an allergic reaction to a Z-pack, second time I took it (biopsy showed it was an allergic reaction). The allergist didn't want to test me out on erythromycin since he said he couldn't control a reaction because I had had joint swelling in addition to hives. So I'm pretty much gonna have to wait a few years until they come out with an allergy test for macrolids.

    Basically, I've been told to avoid those 4 groups, I can use stuff like cipro and cyclins. and if a doctor needs to describe a certain class related to penicillins (cephalosporins, I think?), I'm supposed to do that under my allergist's care.
     
  5. Yogi Bear

    Yogi Bear 2K Member
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    what drug is a z-pack?
     
  6. edmadison

    edmadison 1K Member
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    Azithromycin aka zithromax aka Z-pack. Very over prescribed and very often inapproriately. First line treatment for the dreaded Cat Scratch Fever!!!

    Ed
     
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  7. Kalel

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    azithromycin. That's too bad that you tested positive for those allergies, but hopefully, they will "fade" by the time that you may need those drugs. Either that, or those drugs will be useless because of resistance secondary to over-prescription of them out in the community anyways. Something else that I thinking of was how they are thinking about makign otitis media a non-antibiotic disease, because studies in Europe suggest that it's not neccessary for bacterial OM, plus no one in this country seems to know the difference between viral OM and bacterial OM. There is ~ 10% overlap between people with true cillin allergies and cross-reactivity with the cephalosporins.
     
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  8. Rendar5

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    that must be why the allergist told me to only take cephalosporins under close supervision. I was allergic to the B-lactam ring of penicillin, but not the specific R-group of penicillin.

    Anyway, thanks a lot for the info and the advice, guys.
     
  9. Whisker Barrel Cortex

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    Just to give you a heads up, Ceclor is actually a cephalosporin, so you do have an allergy to those as well.
     
  10. BPKurtz

    BPKurtz Heck Of A Guy
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    Azithromycin is also the only alternative to erythromycin that's been studied for Bordetella pertussis (aka Whooping Cough, yes it still exists).

    Anyway, did your allergist say anything about desensitization?

    bpkurtz
     

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