The Right Stuff

This is not an endorsement for Academy, although they do have the right stuff, the right price. Have you ever wondered how your physician knows which antibiotic to prescribe you? Lets be honest, there are a plethora to choose from and YES, like Hefei I do know what a plethora is. So how does your physician know what the right stuff is?

  • Often times, your physician has been treating your diagnosis, which might happen to be very common, and knows which one works the best from his/her wisdom and experience.
  • This wisdom is sometimes gained from trial and error. Meaning, prescribing one antibiotic with little to no improvement and thus switching to another.
  • Knowledge understanding what types of bacteria are culprits for specific pathologies and which antibiotics are best used to counter those bacteria.
  • I wont go into great detail, but there are two major types of bacteria: Gram (+) AND Gram (-). Within each of these groups, bacteria are classified based on many factors.
  • Cultures the best and most specific way to prescribe an antibiotic is to take a culture of the tissue, let that tissue grow in a controlled environment, and identify the specific bacteria.
  • This is not always possible which is why prescribing a broad spectrum antibiotic (one that covers both Gram positive and negative bacteria).
  • When dealing with Diabetic ulcers, the wound is swabbed with a cotton tipped applicator and sent to the pathology lab for growth and identification. Once the specific organism is found, you may notice a switch in the antibiotic you were taking.

The only exact science in prescribing antibiotics is with cultures. Thankfully, there is a large amount of evidence based medicine that helps your physician know he/she is giving you the right stuff.

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Category: General

Tags: Medicine, Prescription, Treatment