Earache archives

Message to Walt Stoll

Posted by Troy Kuster on February 28, 1999 at 00:44:40:

Dr. Stoll:

I have at 33 years of age just experienced my first earache ever. It manifested itself during the night two days ago and came about, I think, as a result of a sinus infection at the tail end of a common cold.

I doubt your assertion that antibiotics are of no benefit in the treatment of ear infections because of personal experience. This time yesterday I was in excrutiating agony from my earache, the entire side of my head paining in throbbing rhythm with my heartbeat, which is about the only thing I clearly heard. My wise physician prescribed 500 mg ampicillin x3 for treatment. By the time I took the third dose all the pain had subsided even though the pressure remains. My hearing has improved about 50%, but is still far from normal. At least now i can better cope with the infection which I feel is under control and in the process of subsiding.

I know that had these drugs not been there at the precise time I needed them, my "eardrum' would have ruptured causing additional complications.

My belief is that too many physicians are becoming reluctant to prescribe antibiotics because of a fear that misuse leads to bacterial mutations in which antibiotics lose effectiveness. Perhaps too many unneeded prescriptions were filled in the past and the net result has been the weakening of antibiotics ability to work as effectively as in the past. I believe that while measures must be taken to eliminate misuse of antibiotics, such as patient education about completing their prescriptions, physicians should not hesitate to prescribe medication to people who will benefit from their use.




Follow Ups:


Dr. Stoll never said that there is NO use for antibiotics

Posted by Pete R on March 01, 1999 at 09:02:46:

In Reply to: Message to Walt Stoll posted by Troy Kuster on February 28, 1999 at 00:44:40:

You said "I doubt your assertion that antibiotics are of no benefit in the treatment of ear infections".

I do not believe that Dr. Stoll would ever say that. However, the problems with over-use of antibiotics are well known and no one would disagree with your other statements.



Re: Message to Walt Stoll (Sad but true example)

Posted by Walt Stoll on March 01, 1999 at 09:24:34:

In Reply to: Message to Walt Stoll posted by Troy Kuster on February 28, 1999 at 00:44:40:

Dear Troy,

Your story is a perfect example of why the public (AND we physicians) have been so easily duped about this for years: THERE IS NO WAY THAT AN ANTIBIOTIC (taken orally) COULD WORK THIS FAST! The one thing you can be sure of is that your symptoms did NOT improve because of the antibiotic and YET you are convinced that it did the job!

If you had not taken the antibiotic, your symptoms would have improved at the same rate. THEN, you would have had to credit something else. Since you did take the antibiotic, and you wanted to believe in your doctor's prescribing it, VOILA!

Listen to Pete.

Walt


Follow Ups:


antibiotics

Posted by Denise on March 01, 1999 at 14:50:20:

In Reply to: Re: Message to Walt Stoll (Sad but true example) posted by Walt Stoll on March 01, 1999 at 09:24:34:

Dr. Stoll:

Then how long do antibiotics take to improve symptoms? I ask because my son contracted strep last week and started on amoxicillan (hope I spelled that right) yesterday afternoon. And is strep one of those conditions that needs to be treated with antibiotics? I've read that antibiotics are often overprescribed for earaches, especially in children. Anyway, he's eating lots of yogurt to help keep his intestinal microbes in balance (I hope).

Thanks, Denise


Follow Ups:


Re: antibiotics (DIAGNOSE!)

Posted by Walt Stoll on March 02, 1999 at 10:27:17:

In Reply to: antibiotics posted by Denise on March 01, 1999 at 14:50:20:

Hi, Denise.

An appropriately diagnosed case of beta strep, group A should (in MY opinion) be treated with an adequate dose of oral penicillin for 10 days OR an injectable dose of penicillin (bicillin) at 1,200,000 units (which lasts the 10 days).

By appropriately diagnosed I mean that a swab is taken which is either sent for a culture or tested chemically right there in the office. The 2 minute test is about as accurate as the culture, which takes at least a day, and is a LOT less expensive.

Less testing than that is statistically at least 80% inaccurate. This means that the antibiotics are not only not indicated but are contraindicated 80% of the time. MANY studies have documented that NO ONE can look at a throat and diagnose strep.

Walt


Follow Ups:


Re: antibiotics (how long?)

Posted by Walt Stoll on March 02, 1999 at 10:34:16:

In Reply to: antibiotics posted by Denise on March 01, 1999 at 14:50:20:

Dear Denise,

I forgot to address your question about "how long".

This, of course, depends on the kind of infection, the general immunity of the person, the age of the person, how long the infection has been present and many other factors.

Also, assuming that the correct antibiotic was prescribed (as determined by a culture & sensitivity of the organism (which takes at least 48 houirs) one might reasonably expect to see some results within 48 hours----------taking into consideration the variables above.

Any results in 24 hours are simply NOT due to the antibiotic. It takes about 24 hours for the human organism to show changes even if the infecting organism could magically be banished 100% with the first treatment and that does not happen except in miraculous healings and in fairy stories.

Walt



Re: antibiotics (DIAGNOSE!)

Posted by Denise on March 02, 1999 at 13:21:20:

In Reply to: Re: antibiotics (DIAGNOSE!) posted by Walt Stoll on March 02, 1999 at 10:27:17:

Thanks, Walt. My son was diagnosed by a culture done at a doctor's office, so I know he's not getting antibiotics needlessly. -- Denise



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