Go Back   AnandTech Forums > Social > Off Topic

Forums
· Hardware and Technology
· CPUs and Overclocking
· Motherboards
· Video Cards and Graphics
· Memory and Storage
· Power Supplies
· Cases & Cooling
· SFF, Notebooks, Pre-Built/Barebones PCs
· Networking
· Peripherals
· General Hardware
· Highly Technical
· Computer Help
· Home Theater PCs
· Consumer Electronics
· Digital and Video Cameras
· Mobile Devices & Gadgets
· Audio/Video & Home Theater
· Software
· Software for Windows
· All Things Apple
· *nix Software
· Operating Systems
· Programming
· PC Gaming
· Console Gaming
· Distributed Computing
· Security
· Social
· Off Topic
· Politics and News
· Discussion Club
· Love and Relationships
· The Garage
· Health and Fitness
· Merchandise and Shopping
· For Sale/Trade
· Hot Deals with Free Stuff/Contests
· Black Friday 2014
· Forum Issues
· Technical Forum Issues
· Personal Forum Issues
· Suggestion Box
· Moderator Resources
· Moderator Discussions
   

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 01-04-2003, 11:20 AM   #1
WinkOsmosis
Banned
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 13,990
Default Why do doctors prescribe antibiotics for viruses?

Why would they do such a thing? Are they stupid?
WinkOsmosis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2003, 11:24 AM   #2
Ladies Man
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Posts: 2,775
Default Why do doctors prescribe antibiotics for viruses?

so while your immune system is weak another bacteral infections don't invade your system


but i don't like it... it's better to let them run their course then to take med's cus the next generation of infections are stronger
Ladies Man is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2003, 11:26 AM   #3
911paramedic
Diamond Member
 
911paramedic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Sonoma County, CA
Posts: 9,451
Default Why do doctors prescribe antibiotics for viruses?

Old school, they think that if you go to the doctor you should leave with medicine. Younger doctors don't do this as much because of the resistant strains that are popping up because of careless prescriptions.

If you do get an antibiotic for a good reason TAKE THE ENTIRE PRESCRIPTION.

Thank you for your time.
__________________
911paramedic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2003, 11:26 AM   #4
Mark R
Diamond Member
 
Mark R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Posts: 8,247
Default Why do doctors prescribe antibiotics for viruses?

Because they aren't sure that it is a virus.
Because most patients expect a prescription instead of 'go to bed, have a hot drink and take a tylenol'.
Because some viral infections pre-dispose to getting a bacterial infection.

These are not particularly good reasons for antibiotics (with the exception of the last in some circumstances)- and antibiotic treatment of minor illnesses, such as sore throat, without good evidence of bacterial infection is frowned upon.

As has been mentioned earlier, antibiotic resistance is a growing problem, over-prescription of antibiotics is one of the reasons for it. In some ways, resistance is a vicious circle - as physcians discover that their old antibiotics sometimes, don't work, they turn to new ones - sometimes inappropriately - with the result that resistance to these newer drugs is increasing faster than hoped.
Mark R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2003, 11:27 AM   #5
aircooled
Lifer
 
aircooled's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: RTP
Posts: 15,963
Default Why do doctors prescribe antibiotics for viruses?

It's a combination of 2 things.. One is the patient wants to leave with a pill that makes them better, the other is the pharmaceutical companies pay the doctors for prescribing certain medications.

My wife works for a large pharmaceutical company so I know for a fact that there are kick-backs to the doctors, etc.....

I personally do not take antibiotics unless it's absolutely necessary..

aircooled is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2003, 11:27 AM   #6
dullard
Elite Member
 
dullard's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Location
Posts: 19,294
Default Why do doctors prescribe antibiotics for viruses?

Quote:
Originally posted by: Ladies Man
so while your immune system is weak another bacteral infections don't invade your system


but i don't like it... it's better to let them run their course then to take med's cus the next generation of infections are stronger
Exactly right. There is a small chance that a bacterial infection can take place if the virus successfully weakens your immune system.

Also they do it just to please the customers. It is sad how many prescriptions you can get just by asking. My hometown doctor prescribed asthma medicine (including steroids) to anyone who said they were out of breath at anypoint in their life (such as running track). It is easier for them to prescribe a plecebo (antibiotics) than to deal with the patients.

dullard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2003, 11:28 AM   #7
911paramedic
Diamond Member
 
911paramedic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Sonoma County, CA
Posts: 9,451
Default Why do doctors prescribe antibiotics for viruses?

Quote:
Originally posted by: Ladies Man
so while your immune system is weak another bacteral infections don't invade your system


but i don't like it... it's better to let them run their course then to take med's cus the next generation of infections are stronger
A virus is not effected by antibiotics, they do nothing. Virii have no cures.

__________________
911paramedic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2003, 11:28 AM   #8
BigJ
Lifer
 
BigJ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 21,338
Default Why do doctors prescribe antibiotics for viruses?

Quote:
Originally posted by: Mark R
Because they aren't sure that it is a virus.
Because most patients expect a prescription instead of 'go to bed, have a hot drink and take a tylenol'.
Because some viral infections pre-dispose to getting a bacterial infection.
Sums it up pretty well right there. Also it puts some more money into everybodys pocket except yours if they give you a prescription.

__________________
Official member of The Knights Who Say Ni
BigJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2003, 11:29 AM   #9
simms
Diamond Member
 
simms's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 8,212
Default Why do doctors prescribe antibiotics for viruses?

Quote:
Originally posted by: 911paramedic
Quote:
Originally posted by: Ladies Man
so while your immune system is weak another bacteral infections don't invade your system


but i don't like it... it's better to let them run their course then to take med's cus the next generation of infections are stronger
A virus is not effected by antibiotics, they do nothing. Virii have no cures.
Yes, but if your immune system is weak, other bacteria may come and invade your weakened system... that's why we take them SOMETIMES.. but not always.
simms is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2003, 11:30 AM   #10
Geekbabe
Moderator Emeritus
Elite Member
 
Geekbabe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Boston
Posts: 30,294
Default Why do doctors prescribe antibiotics for viruses?

Quote:
Originally posted by: Jellomancer
Why would they do such a thing? Are they stupid?
I have asthma that's's been well controlled but when I get upper respiratory infections I often end up with secondary bacterial pnenmonia
a round of antibotics often ensures that I don't end up really sick.
__________________
http://www.theshoppinqueen.com
Geekbabe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2003, 11:38 AM   #11
guyver01
Banned
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Littleton, Colorado
Posts: 22,156
Default Why do doctors prescribe antibiotics for viruses?

Because as others have said... the virus will severely weaken your immune system,and then other bacterial infections will happen alot stronger.

i knew someone who had AIDS... he ended up dying of pneumonia...

the HIV virus weakend his immune system so badly that his body couldn't even fight off a cold.

guyver01 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2003, 01:51 PM   #12
BaliBabyDoc
Lifer
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Posts: 10,738
Default Why do doctors prescribe antibiotics for viruses?

Quote:
It's a combination of 2 things.. One is the patient wants to leave with a pill that makes them better, the other is the pharmaceutical companies pay the doctors for prescribing certain medications.

My wife works for a large pharmaceutical company so I know for a fact that there are kick-backs to the doctors, etc.....
The pharmaceutical industry and popular media have created the pill=cure ethos. Only weak-willed and consumer-minded physicians will give medically-unnecessary prescriptions.

The only doctors being paid to prescribe certain medications are unethical ones. The majority do not practice quid pro quo medicine but it is a significant problem in the discipline.

It is an exception NOT the norm to give patients antibiotics as prophylaxis against latent bacterial infections. People with chronic diseases: cystic fibrosis, sickel cell disease, asthma, HIV/AIDS, etc get special consideration b/c best-evidence demonstrates a clear benefit.

To the contrary the vast majority of upper respiratory infections (sinusitis, rhinitis, pharyngitis) are viral and in otherwise healthy people it is BAD medicine to give antibiotics. Even clear bacterial infections like ear (otitis media) are not treated by the antibiotic neither is strep throat. In both cases antibiotics merely reduce the risk of complications like mastoiditis (which can lead to meningitis) and rheumatic fever from untreated strep.
BaliBabyDoc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2003, 02:20 PM   #13
Analog
Lifer
 
Analog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 12,755
Default Why do doctors prescribe antibiotics for viruses?

secondary bacterial infection.
__________________
'88 YELLOW FIERO

"WANTED - Schroedinger's cat. Dead and alive."
五行
http://eriemine.com
Analog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2003, 03:26 PM   #14
FoBoT
Super Moderator
 
FoBoT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Holden MO
Posts: 63,088
Default Why do doctors prescribe antibiotics for viruses?

to appease hypocondriacs
__________________
“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.”
― Dr. Seuss
FoBoT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2003, 03:59 PM   #15
Kadarin
Lifer
 
Kadarin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: /dev/random
Posts: 43,518
Default Why do doctors prescribe antibiotics for viruses?

Quote:
Originally posted by: FoBoT
to appease hypocondriacs
The medical/pharmaceutical industry should come up with a placebo "antibiotic" for that purpose. Load it up with vicodin or something so that the patient "feels" like it's working...
__________________
Eject, Buckaroo! Eject!
Kadarin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2003, 04:03 PM   #16
FoBoT
Super Moderator
 
FoBoT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Holden MO
Posts: 63,088
Default Why do doctors prescribe antibiotics for viruses?

Quote:
Originally posted by: Astaroth33
Quote:
Originally posted by: FoBoT
to appease hypocondriacs
The medical/pharmaceutical industry should come up with a placebo "antibiotic" for that purpose. Load it up with vicodin or something so that the patient "feels" like it's working...
that is a good idea, except you would probably have to tell the patient, which would sorta mess it up

maybe just give anybody with a virus a shot of heroin to make them not care they are sick
__________________
“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.”
― Dr. Seuss
FoBoT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2003, 04:04 PM   #17
db
Diamond Member
 
db's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: SoCal
Posts: 6,930
Default Why do doctors prescribe antibiotics for viruses?

What BaliBabyDoc said.
db is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2003, 04:06 PM   #18
ragazzo
Golden Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 1,759
Default Why do doctors prescribe antibiotics for viruses?

Some possibilities:

* Patients ask for prescriptions for ease of mind.
* Patients don't have patience.
* Patients have low tolerance for pain.

So doctors are somewhat forced to prescribe something. I do agree that most things are better left running their courses, like the common cold or minor infections. Now we have super virus/bacteria running loose.
ragazzo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2003, 04:18 PM   #19
Pliablemoose
Banned
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: LA
Posts: 25,198
Default Why do doctors prescribe antibiotics for viruses?

Quote:
Originally posted by: BaliBabyDoc
Quote:
It's a combination of 2 things.. One is the patient wants to leave with a pill that makes them better, the other is the pharmaceutical companies pay the doctors for prescribing certain medications.

My wife works for a large pharmaceutical company so I know for a fact that there are kick-backs to the doctors, etc.....
The pharmaceutical industry and popular media have created the pill=cure ethos. Only weak-willed and consumer-minded physicians will give medically-unnecessary prescriptions.

The only doctors being paid to prescribe certain medications are unethical ones. The majority do not practice quid pro quo medicine but it is a significant problem in the discipline.

It is an exception NOT the norm to give patients antibiotics as prophylaxis against latent bacterial infections. People with chronic diseases: cystic fibrosis, sickel cell disease, asthma, HIV/AIDS, etc get special consideration b/c best-evidence demonstrates a clear benefit.

To the contrary the vast majority of upper respiratory infections (sinusitis, rhinitis, pharyngitis) are viral and in otherwise healthy people it is BAD medicine to give antibiotics. Even clear bacterial infections like ear (otitis media) are not treated by the antibiotic neither is strep throat. In both cases antibiotics merely reduce the risk of complications like mastoiditis (which can lead to meningitis) and rheumatic fever from untreated strep.
What he said...

Pliablemoose is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2003, 07:09 PM   #20
ElFenix
Super Moderator
Off Topic
 
ElFenix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Posts: 93,947
Default Why do doctors prescribe antibiotics for viruses?

the agent-client problem
__________________
I killed and ate the Fun Mod with some jellybeans and a little Chianti.

AnandTech Mean Moderator
ElFenix is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2003, 07:10 PM   #21
Anubis
No Lifer
 
Anubis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Anger is a gift!
Posts: 73,972
Default Why do doctors prescribe antibiotics for viruses?

to treat the symptons
Anubis is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2003, 07:39 PM   #22
element
Diamond Member
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Posts: 4,635
Default Why do doctors prescribe antibiotics for viruses?

More info on antibiotic resistance and how it developed here.
element is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2003, 07:51 PM   #23
vegetation
Diamond Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 4,270
Default Why do doctors prescribe antibiotics for viruses?

Of course, for the millions who don't have any health insurance, they would feel robbed if they left the doctor's office empty handed.
vegetation is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2003, 12:05 AM   #24
BaliBabyDoc
Lifer
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Posts: 10,738
Default Why do doctors prescribe antibiotics for viruses?

Quote:
Of course, for the millions who don't have any health insurance, they would feel robbed if they left the doctor's office empty handed.
I assume you meant to be sarcastic? Decent physicians that felt the need to give antibiotics would give their non-insured (or otherwise financially constrained) patients samples sufficient to cover their treatment. It's one of the few areas where pharmaceutical companies and their minions actually serve the public good.
BaliBabyDoc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2003, 03:05 AM   #25
katka
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 708
Default Why do doctors prescribe antibiotics for viruses?

I have NEVER known or had a Physician who prescribed an antiobiotic for a virus. I highly doubt that there is a financial incentive to do so either, because antibiotic are cheap, not patented, and have many cheap manufacturers. Kickbackscome into play with things like Prozac, which half the world in now on without any notable changes in society :Q. Also, with many of the Advertised patented drugs. If you see a commercial there is probably some financial incentive, as well as some danger to the product.
katka is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:31 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.