Colds, Flus, and Other Respiratory Illnesses in Adults: When You Need Antibiotics - And When You Don't
If you have a sore throat, cough, or sinus pain, you might expect to take antibiotics. After all, you feel bad, and you want to get better fast. But antibiotics don’t help most respiratory infections, and they can even be harmful. Antibiotics cost money, can have side effects, and, when overused, can stop working as well.
Antibiotics fight infections caused by bacteria. But most respiratory infections are caused by viruses. Antibiotics can’t cure a virus. Viruses cause all colds and flu, almost all sinus infections, most bronchitis, and most sore throats.
However, you may need an antibiotic if you have one of the following respiratory infections: bacterial pneumonia, whooping cough, strep throat, or a sinus infection that does not get better in 10 days. Speak to your doctor about the best course of treatment for your illness.
Source: Choosing Wisely
Cost Savings Tips and Financial Considerations
Some patients prefer to use walk-in clinics for minor medical problems.
Walk-in Clinics, also called Convenience Clinics, are typically staffed with Nurse Practitioners instead of physicians. Generally, nurse practitioners are well trained to treat minor medical problems and are able to write prescriptions.
There are some advantages and disadvantages to using walk-in clinics:
Walk-in clinics tend to have equal or lower costs than physicians' offices. They are often open 7 days/week, have extended hours, do not require an appointment and have short waiting times. Most walk-in clinics will not charge you for the visit if they can't treat your problem and will refer you to a physician. Walk-in clinics are not a good choice if you have a complicated medical problem or need a physician evaluation.