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Author Topic: Withholding antibiotics  (Read 1111 times)

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Offline Zohar

  • Member
  • Posts: 234
Withholding antibiotics
« on: December 27, 2010, 07:03:31 PM »
This summer, I was suffering with a stubborn staph infection - like a large boil, which wept. I lived with it for a couple of weeks and it just seemed to be gettiing bigger and more painful. In the end, I took myself off to a walk-in clinic in London and explained to the doctor that I was prone to these type of infections from time to time and that when they got more severe I'd been prescribed antibiotics which soon took them down. He agreed that this was such an occasion and said a short course of antibios should be prescribed.

The doctor then left the room and then the nurse who also sat in on the consultation wandered off and about 15 minutes later returned saying that he had phoned down to the HIV clinic and spoken to one of the doctors there and it had been decided that because I had just started a new regimen of HAART, I should not take any antibiotics 'in case you come out in a rash'.

I told him that the antibiotic the original doctor had suggested (floxacillin) is one I have taken before without any problems and certainly never had any sort of allergic reaction to and also wasn't aware of any contraindication between the antibiotic and the HIV drugs I was on (there are none), however he was adamant that this staph infection should not be treated to avoid any potential complications with the newly commenced combination therapy.

Over the next few days, the staph infection became more swollen and painful and then burst, rupturing the skin, which didn't heal up, and has now left a permanent, unsightly scar which, by visiting the clinic, was the very thing I was seeking to avoid.

Any thoughts on this sequence of events?
''Poor is the man whose pleasures depend on the permission of another.''

Offline newt

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,878
  • the one and original newt
Re: Withholding antibiotics
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2010, 01:37:54 PM »
A very bad state of affairs. You were right and the medics were wrong on all points. For a start, 4 months on a combo means it's not new any more. (etc etc). - matt
"The object is to be a well patient, not a good patient"

Offline leatherman

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  • Google and HIV meds are Your Friends
Re: Withholding antibiotics
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2010, 03:36:08 PM »
Any thoughts on this sequence of events?
next time something like this happens, you could call your regular doctor the following day and discuss the issue again, laying out your reasonings, refuting his advice, and making him explain exactly why he believes treatment should be different. sometimes you have to hassle doctors to understand/to pay proper attention/to understand why your thoughts on treatment differ.

Now, you should make sure that he sees the scar and understands how you ended up with it (especially since you have already had skin issues dealing with your meds) when it could have been avoided with a different treatment for this condition (which you have had before and might again) and would prefer the correct treatment for any subsequent issue.
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Offline Hellraiser

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  • Posts: 4,136
  • Semi-misanthropic
Re: Withholding antibiotics
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2010, 07:25:45 PM »
These people are morons.  I can't think of any HIV medication that interacts with antibiotics off the top of my head.  A staph infection especially from the description you give can be incredibly dangerous.  This is moreso true if you have a compromised immune system.  The size of this makes it that much worse.  Why on Earth wouldn't they just give you a simple antibiotic.

FYI:  I have a couple of pretty large scars due to staph infections that WERE treated with antibiotics.

Offline Zohar

  • Member
  • Posts: 234
Re: Withholding antibiotics
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2010, 09:21:47 PM »
These people are morons.  I can't think of any HIV medication that interacts with antibiotics off the top of my head.  A staph infection especially from the description you give can be incredibly dangerous.  This is moreso true if you have a compromised immune system.  The size of this makes it that much worse.  Why on Earth wouldn't they just give you a simple antibiotic.

FYI:  I have a couple of pretty large scars due to staph infections that WERE treated with antibiotics.

''These people are morons''.

Funnily enough, I've been muttering this to myself ever since it happened!

I do concede that even with treatment that the infection may still have scarred, but staph has been a problem I've suffered with since way before I was positive and the only other time the staph left a scar was when I did nothing, thinking it would heal normally, and it didn't.  So, whilst not 100% certain, I do feel this recent scar could probably have been avoided. 

What is annoying is that the first doctor agreed that antibiotics should be prescribed and then the HIV doctor that was consulted by the nurse over the phone, thought better of it. Maddenlingly, because the HIV doctor was based in the clinic downstairs, I wasn't even able to have a discussion with him, and I do feel quite strongly that you should at least be able to have a direct conversation with whoever is responsible for making final decisions about your health.

That's not so unreasonable, is it?

In the past, I would never disclose the fact that I was positive to clinicians unless I was being seen in my HIV clinic, for fear of being treated differently, but was advised that for my own sake that I should do so and duly took this on board. However, in light of what happened,  I now feel as if my original apprehension about disclosing was justified and feel very unconfident about doing so again (other than in my HIV clinic).
''Poor is the man whose pleasures depend on the permission of another.''

 


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