Some people may feel that it is irresponsible for physicians to prescribe antibiotics for emergency use. They favor withholding these critical medications due to a fear of creating antibiotic resistance if inappropriately used.
Let’s turn to the evidence. Studies over the years have looked at so-called “pocket prescriptions” and their effect on antibiotic use amongst pediatric and adult populations. A “pocket-prescription” is when your health care provider is unsure whether antibiotics are appropriate for your infection, so they write you a “just in case” prescription. They tell you that if the symptoms worsen over the next 24-48 hours, you should fill the prescription and begin taking the prescribed antibiotics. It turns out that this type of care leads to LESS antibiotic use by the patients. This is because they feel empowered to decide the best course of action for their own care. They don’t have to go to the next primary care office, urgent care, or emergency department until they find someone willing to give them antibiotics. Instead, they keep the prescription, knowing that they can fill it if needed—most of the time they don’t.
Antibiotic stewardship is not simply withholding antibiotics from patients. It is also prescribing and using antibiotics when appropriate. It is part of a wholesome physician-patient relationship. One where patient and physician work together to make the best decision on behalf of the patients’ wellbeing. It is also why anyone seeking a prescription through Jase Medical is first evaluated to ensure they are appropriate candidates. In addition, they can contact us any time to follow up with their prescribing physician should they have any questions about the use of the medications prescribed.
A few of the studies referenced above:
Martin Edwards, M. E. (2003). Patients’ responses to delayed antibiotic prescription for acute upper respiratory tract infections. British Journal of General Practice, Nov(53(496)), 845–850. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1314726/
Del Mar CB. Delayed prescription reduced antibiotic use in the common cold. ACP J Club. 2002 Nov-Dec;137(3):116. PMID: 12418856.
American Family Physician POEM. (2014). Delayed Prescription Strategies Decrease Antibiotic Use. American Family Physician. Published. https://www.aafp.org/afp/2014/0715/p110.html