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Japan survey shows 60% wrongly believe antibiotics can treat a cold

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It people are able to buy such medication without a doctor's approval then there is something seriously wrong with the system.

-2 ( +9 / -11 )

60% wrongly believe antibiotics can treat a cold

quite a few of the 60% appear to be physicians

25 ( +26 / -1 )

It is true that antibiotics can not treat a cold. However, they can treat the associated chest and ear infections and prevent complications like pneumonia.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

Antibiotics can only be obtained with a script from a doctor. Had a very bad virus for two weeks but antibiotics would be useless. In our local hospital, they have posters warning about the abuse or overuse of antibiotics. I have been taking lemon, honey, ginger, and a Chinese remedy.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

That is partly because the Japanese, "Kaze", often translated as "cold in English, is a vague term that means just about any infection of the respiratory system, or even just a fever, which may be bacterial in origin, whereas "a cold" is somewhat more specific in English and distinguished from cough, bronchitis, rhinitis, sore throat, etc. But the doctors seem often happy to send the people away with pills, including antibiotics perhaps justified by the idea that opportunistic secondary infections may be bacterial in origin.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Antibiotics can only be obtained with a script from a doctor. 

Indeed. But from the article:

medical experts warning their misuse and overuse can increase antimicrobial resistance.

So how can people self medicate? Unless they know a hooky doctor...

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

They need education

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Ignorance is a bliss!!!

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

It is true that antibiotics can not treat a cold. However, they can treat the associated chest and ear infections and prevent complications like pneumonia.

It's about money, and fyi pneumonia can not be treated with antibiotics either, UNLESS it is bacterial pneumonia and then most cases require hospitalization. Antibiotics are not a preventative for pneumonia, and unless there is an actual infection that requires the use of them.

Any doctor that prescribes them for the examples you gave here, is a quack and should have his license removed for malpractice!

There are very specific cases where antibiotics are used as a preventative therapy or treatment, and none of these cases here fit those needs.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

However, they can treat the associated chest and ear infections and prevent complications like pneumonia.

I doubt people here fit any of these categories! They are very specific, and as I said, any doctor that prescribes them for the potential of a BACTERIAL infection, with the examples you gave here, should be sued for malpractice and have his or her license taken away.

Antibiotics to prevent infection

Antibiotics are sometimes given as a precaution to prevent, rather than treat, an infection. This is called antibiotic prophylaxis. Situations where antibiotics are given as a preventive treatment include:

if you're having an operation

after a bite or wound that could get infected

if you have a health problem that means you're at higher risk of infection, such as if you've had your spleen removed or you're having chemotherapy treatment

This is from the NHS Website (England) and there are plenty of other authentic and reliable websites that provide the same information as well.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Too many animals are also given Antibiotics. Should be addressed as another important source of antibiotic resistance

9 ( +13 / -4 )

I don't know why people would think this but I am POSITIVE it has NOTHING to do with financial incentives given to doctors from the pharmaceutical industry. NOTHING I say.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

The Japanese government has said it is concerned about antimicrobial resistance, which is widely considered a "silent pandemic" among medical professionals.

How ironic. No one to blame but yourselves, as you are the only one's authorized to prescribe these medications.

So just who is going to take responsibility for over medicating people and the malpractice being done?

(That's actually a dumb question, as no one will!)

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Humans aren’t as smart and cute as they think they are. And they’re just as ignorant of so many other things. Scary, isn’t it?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

What is the percentage of doctors who believe antibiotics can cure a cold? What is the percentage of doctors that frequently prescribe antibiotics for a cold? What was the percentage of doctors that frequently prescribe antibiotics in the days when doctors rather than pharmacies sold directly to patients.

In Japan patients generally do not question the doctor's decision. I can remember taking my girlfriend to a hospital quite a few years ago. She had been bitten by a mukade and had a swelling for several days. The conversation with the doctor went like this.

"Can you give us some medicine for this bite, please?"

"Yes, I will give you a prescription for some."

"What are these pills? What kind of medicine are they?"

"Antibiotics."

"Is the bite infected?"

"No."

"So why are you giving us antibiotics? Will they do anything if the bite is not infected"

"You said you wanted medicine, so I am giving you medicine."

"Well, we don't need it if it won't do anything."

I have since found an excellent doctor nearby who is careful not to prescribe unnecessarily.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

What is the percentage of doctors who believe antibiotics can cure a cold? 

0%, it's not about "knowing" or not, as all doctors "know" that antibiotics are not for viral illnesses. They created the problem, as there is a huge amount of money moving around here.

Based upon the expectation that patients will not question the doctor.

"You said you wanted medicine, so I am giving you medicine."

You are the one who requested the medication, and here is the problem. Far too many people THINK they need medication after going to a doctor. They just trust the doctor, and he will fulfill the patients request.

If I were him, I'd have prescribed a placebo for you! He was just fulfilling your request, as you assumed to believe it was necessary and only questioned it when you heard it was an antibiotic. Maybe the doctor should have asked you why? Or you should have asked "Do we need any medication?" Or something along those lines.

I have had numerous doctors tell me, "If you know the name of the medicine that works for you, and there is one here that is similar or the same, they HAVE to give it to you on request, if it fits the need of the illness you have" I've had doctors try to prescribe antibiotics to me for a cold, I refused them and requested a specific medication, the doctor was not a happy camper, but I didnt give a crap!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

quite a few of the 60% appear to be physicians

I came here for this.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I can remember taking my girlfriend to a hospital quite a few years ago..."So why are you giving us antibiotics? 

"Us?" I understand being involved in a child's consultation that way, but a girlfriend? Were you both bitten by the mukade?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Antibiotics are also used in post surgery to prevent sepsis

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Too many animals are also given Antibiotics. Should be addressed as another important source of antibiotic resistance

This is important point....

Antimicrobial Resistance Exchange Between Humans and Animals: Why We Need to Know More

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9325553/

If cold flu should not be treated with the aid of antibiotics then a clear policy of non prescription should be vigorously enforced.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I'd like to see the results of a survey on how many people believe that one can get over a cold or the flu faster if they "give it to someone else."

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Only 60%?

As alluded to above, this is what happens when doctors get paid a paltry amount per consultation but make most of their money from kickbacks from pharmaceutical companies. Quite literally, the more they prescribe, they more they make.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I have taken antibiotics less than 10 times over 50 years.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The amount of times I have been prescribed a round of antibiotics without needing them has been too high.

Once, I said my abdominal region hurts, and then the doctor prescribed me antibiotics saying I 'probably' have an STD (which was outright impossible and wrong), and she took a sample to test but told me to take them in the meantime. I took them and had a terrible reaction.

Went back to the doctor only for her to tell me that the tests came back clear. I have been cautious of what doctors say here ever since.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I bet 90% of doctors across Japan believe so as well.Otherwise, why else they give you 20 different medicaments at once?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Every time, either I or one of my Family catch a cold, we always receive the same Medicine - regardless which Doctor we visit, and the dosage is so weak. Sometimes is best just to take the OTC medicines from the local pharmacy.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Every time, either I or one of my Family catch a cold, we always receive the same Medicine - regardless which Doctor we visit, and the dosage is so weak. Sometimes is best just to take the OTC medicines from the local pharmacy.

There is a huge reason for this, and not one that many, if any, like or can do anything about.

Doctors here prescribe the weakest medicines available as they dont want (quote) "To have a patient build up an immunity to a stronger drug" Total BS I know, but that is the excuse they give patients.

Just like dentists are not supposed to work on more than one tooth at a time here, it's all about money and control.

Doctors here dont make millions upon millions of dollars, and since they work in a regulated system, they have learned to play that system to their benefit, financially. The more times a patient is seen, the more money they hospital or doctor gets.

Case in point, No 1 daughter got an ear infection in the US. Doctor prescribed meds, the infection was gone in days, never reoccurred.

No 1 son got ear infection here... talk about HELL! Weekly visits to the doctor, loosing work hours, my son's overall health crappy as can be, and overall a nightmare. (Ask any parents here about having a kid with an ear infection and how long it takes to "cure" it.)

Over the counter meds here are WEAKER than the weakest prescribed medication that the doctor can give you. It's the law. It's also cheaper to go to a hospital here than to self-medicate. Not to mention people just dont know what medicines to use, and it's fear born of ignorance, and lack of education.

I can give an endless list of examples, as I worked in a Japanese hospital group for nearly a decade and learned more than I wanted to about the system here. Overall it's not bad really, but if you get a lingering illness, it can literally last forever.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

“There are only two things infinite - the Universe and human stupidity. And I’m not sure about the Universe.” — Albert Einstein.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It people are able to buy such medication without a doctor's approval then there is something seriously wrong with the system.

Are you kidding me, these are the people that go to the emergency room for the common cold lol

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Yabaru - you miss my point - the medicines prescribed are generally "the same" regardless which Doctor that you go to. It's like a standard list that gets dished out regardless what you have. And knowing this in advance, plus the "cost" of going to a Doctor as well as paying for the Medicines afterwards, it can sometimes be (for the usual type of Cold) cheaper to buy an OTC medicine. That said, If you're under 18 and a permanent resident then you can get all of this for free.

Of course, if there's something more serious wrong with you, then going to a Hospital makes sense - though remember that you need to get a referral from a Doctor first, otherwise you have to pay 5-10K before seeing a Hospital Doctor.

For example, in the rare case when I have needed some anti-biotics - "Cravit" is more than likely to be prescribed. In this case, I can actually ask for the 500mg dosage rather than the usual 250mg.

If you're interested the following website shows the drugs that are available in Japan - and indeed there's a wide variety - but, almost everytime we go to a Doctor it always seems to be the same Medication that we come out with.

https://www.rad-ar.or.jp/siori/english

As for the BS reference, I think you meant to say AMR :), which is as described here:

https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20201031/p2a/00m/0fe/005000c

Sorry to hear about your unfortunate experiences in the past, you're not alone there, but I guess depending upon the situation, the same can be experienced elsewhere in the World.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

However, they can treat the associated chest and ear infections and prevent complications like pneumonia.

One thing I noticed, and typically I dont give a damn either way, but by the number of people who "thumbed" this comment up, shows that people here are also ignorant about what antibiotics should or should not be used with, and they are typically NOT associated nor used as a preventative therapy.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Yabaru - you miss my point - the medicines prescribed are generally "the same" regardless which Doctor that you go to. It's like a standard list that gets dished out regardless what you have. 

It all depends upon which drug company or supplier they use. The "drugs" are yes basically the same, across the board, as the pharmaceutical companies here have a huge monopoly on the market, and have political clout as well. They just use different names.

Let's not even start in on the issues related to "generic" drugs too!

They do not spend much money at all on research, because costs are controlled by the insurance scheme, so they also keep out medicines from abroad that could benefit people here, but are kept out, because they arent manufactured here. If they get licensed by a domestic company, and get profits, it's a different story.

Doctors here are woefully undereducated about drugs and medications.

The covid vaccines were a great example.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

So how can people self medicate? Unless they know a hooky doctor...

Doctors here are quite liberal about prescribing medicine.

nearly 67 percent of parents with preschool children said they believe antibiotics can fight viruses

That itself is not surprising. The surprising thing is that after 3 years of a global viral pandemic, only one third of these people understand the difference between a virus and a bacterium.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Antibiotics are used in the treatment of some cancers.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Antibiotics work when needed and save lives. Overuse and misuse are creating serious problems. Like drug resistant forms of TB.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Not just Japanese people!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Another trash survey

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

There should be a survey to find out number of people who believe in jsut about any survey

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

nearly 67 percent of parents with preschool children said they believe antibiotics can fight viruses

Being extremely fastidious some specific antibiotics do have antiviral activity against very specific viruses, but yes, in the context of respiratory infections they are useless, or will interfere with the normal bacteria of the digestive tract and may even have a negative effect this way.

A lot of the problem is that doctors (specially pediatricians) are too weak to oppose parents that demand antibiotics for children with a viral infection, many parents get the wrong idea that if the doctor is not giving them what they believe is necessary then the doctors must be wrong, so they simply go to another doctor until one agrees and perpetuates the mistake. This may be an unintended consequence of medical visits being free for school children, for the parents there is very little to lose from just visiting many doctors until they can find one that prescribes what the parents believe is necessary.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I’m surprised this number isn’t higher.

The number of times I’ve been told by Japanese coworkers to go to the hospital when I know full well that I only have a cold is baffling.

Similarly, these same people fight tooth and nail against every suggestion to turn the office aircon to below 28°C Summer, Winter, Autumn and Spring, because anything less than 28°C is cold, and being cold causes “catch a cold” to spontaneously erupt.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I don't recall ever taking antibiotics.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

I believe Moonraker-san has it correct.

It is a language issue, not a deep misunderstanding issue.

In general, I find the doctors here very fair. You would never walk into a doctor's appointment here to find that your doctor is gone for three weeks golfing in Hawaii and a substitute will take care of you.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

It is a language issue, not a deep misunderstanding issue.

That explanation would be insufficient, there is no way 風邪 would mean a bacterial infection, it is used in the same sense as "having a cold" (cought, sneeze, a dripping/congested nose, etc) and it is produced by viruses.

https://www.daiichisankyo-hc.co.jp/health/symptom/01_kaze/

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I am curious what does the article want to point out? Ignorance is causing the increase antimicrobial resistance?

My partner currently has a cold, so when I asked her she what she was taking for her cold she replied "antibiotics" however after checking what she was actually taking it was an antiviral medication.

I'm pretty sure you would find 100% of that 60% don't actually know what they are taking when they have a cold and just think that the Dr has given them an antibiotic when they haven't just like my wife.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

A sore throat is a major symptom of strep, which is a bacterial infection treated using penicillin.

If I'm sick enough to visit a doctor, then I know that. I don't need to be versed on bacterial or virus, since there isn't anything I can do without visiting a doctor first. In the realm of what's important to my daily life, this knowledge isn't high. Knowing how to change the oil in my car is more important, since I need to do that much more often than visit any doctor for an illness.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

A sore throat is a major symptom of strep, which is a bacterial infection treated using penicillin.

The problem is that this is not a pathognomonic symptom, which means it can be present without being a bacterial infection at all, and frequently is. Leaving completely the diagnosis and treatment to the doctos should not be a problem (it is not that difficult to differentiate between a viral or bacterial infection on most cases) but unfortunately in Japan it has become a default thing to prescribe antibiotics even when the doctor fully knows they are not necessary. In a way is like going to the mechanic to change the oil of your car and being told you also need to change the air filters or something like that even when there is no need to do it.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

That seems to include doctors who constantly prescribe them...probably for an insurance pump....but actually they are endangering the effectiveness of future antibiotic treatments

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The problem is that this is not a pathognomonic symptom, which means it can be present without being a bacterial infection at all

No, in fact sore throat is a pathognomonic symptom of strep throat, which is present with a bacterial infection.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

No, in fact sore throat is a pathognomonic symptom of strep throat, which is present with a bacterial infection.

Any actual source for this? because medical authorities clearly contradict your personal opinion even if you try to express it as a fact when it is not.

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sore-throat/symptoms-causes/syc-20351635

The most common cause of a sore throat (pharyngitis) is a viral infection, such as a cold or the flu. A sore throat caused by a virus resolves on its own.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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