Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Antibiotics Question

I tend to get a sore throat and cough on and off, every few months. The signs are familiar. It will start with a slight sore, keep going and coming and then eventually turn into a full blown sore or cough. I try a lot of home remedies - hot water gargles, steam inhalations, drinking hot water mixed with turmeric (haldi), salt and ghee.

But most of the time, there is no sign of the infection abating. It becomes worse until a point where I conclude that this cough is made of sterner stuff. Then I go to a doctor who would prescribe an antibiotic and within a few days I would be totally all right.

This makes me tempted to wonder why I cannot start the antibiotic right away, when the cough just begins to rear its head? The trouble is antibiotics and their usage have been the target of a lot of criticism especially the way they're abused in India.

I am really not sure about what is true and how much is true in that whole campaign. All I know is that when I take an antibiotic, it helps me greatly. Yes, they could have deleterious effects. But they help me!

Last few times, I have not been trying the home remedies for too long! I try them the first day or so and then request my doctor to prescribe an antibiotic!

Of course, I do not recommend this to you at all. I am just describing my own experience. Any drug must be taken with extreme caution and only if nothing else works. What happens in my case is very different because I have a compromised immune system - my body's ability to fight infection is not as strong as a person with healthy kidneys. So, trying home remedies might help in only the most trivial of infections. I would need the help of an antibiotic to feel better.

I have no clue on what other harm these potent medicines are causing. For now, I am looking forward to the antibiotics that I started last night for my developing sore to help me feel better in time for Saturday morning when I go out on a weekend break!

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Most Upper respiratory tract infections are viral in nature and its usually runs self limited course and there is no role of antibiotics.

Raj Pandiri said...

probably you are thinking of antibiotics as a magic bullet, but persistent overuse actually reduces immune system and and it also kills some of friendly bacteria which is required for any body. I would say try to avoid antibiotics as much as possible, so that your body will fight with bacteria and develops resistent system.

Shuchi Anand said...

Hi really liked your blog in general, and was interested in getting in touch for a phone conversation. I'm a nephrologist, interested in doing some research & advocacy work regarding expanding use of PD in India. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

One thing that I dread about is sore throat . Taking a few drops of Panchatulasi as soon as I feel the symptom , would stop it from blowing into a worse infection . ZindaTilismath too works , but not as effective as PanchaTulasi.

Avinash Ghimire said...

see my comment on the following post

Kamal D Shah said...

Hi Anonymous, how often do you take the Panchatulasi. I bought a small bottle and put two drops in a little water and have it once or twice a day. My cough is better without the panchatulasi but was wondering if I can take it to even get rid of the little bit of a sore and cold I continue to have.