Thursday, June 4, 2009


To take the antibiotics prescribed or not to take them... that is the question.

For the past couple of days, I suspected I had a UTI. Yes, I avoided getting one while pregnant and have one now. And it is awful. I should have gone to the doctor Monday or Tuesday or even yesterday, but I didn't. I stayed home. Hoping and praying it would just go away on its own. Puff...gone. But no. It got worse. I woke up last night when D came to bed. I went to the bathroom and that set off a chain of unpleasant events. I felt terrible. I tried to fall asleep, but the urge to pee was too strong and my discomfort was too great. I downed a couple of tylenols and played on facebook for nearly an hour. By that time the tylenol had kicked in and I was really tired. I was able to go back to sleep. And K slept until 6am. Excellent.

I called the doctor when they opened at 8am. They told me to come in right away, which I did. I was seen by the nurse practitioner surprisingly quick. And no surprise at her diagnosis. I had a ton of white blood cells in my urine and basically every symptom of a UTI. I also have some sore spots on my back (the nurse called the location my "flanks") indicating that the infection is getting or is in my kidneys. Great. Wonderful nurse, can you make me feel better?

My wonderful nurse (who seriously was so kind and understanding) said I needed an antibiotic. I responded back that this was great, but I'm nursing my nearly 8 month old. She said she'd double-check to be sure what she was planning to prescribe was ok for a nursing mother. And double-check she did. Actually, she quadruple-checked. She asked a doctor in the office as well as consulting with the American Academy of Pediatrics and some national breastfeeding group. She also referenced some honking large pharmacy book. All agreed that the prescribed course of antibiotics was ok for me.

So I go to fill the prescription, which went so quickly. Seriously, I was in and out in matter of 15 minutes. I go to open the prescription bottle so I can get my first pill into my system pronto and what does the label on the container say:

"Not recommended for nursing mothers."

Are you kidding me? What's a girl to do?

Not wanting to go back to the doctors office AGAIN and wait around AGAIN or wait at the pharmacy, I called my OB. As you may remember I.HEART.HER. She's the best. I talked with the triage nurse, who informed me that my antibiotic is safe to take. Thank goodness. I want to feel better soon. I want this infection to get as far away from my kidneys as possible. I want to sleep through the night.

So I took my first dose. And maybe its just the placebo effect, but I think I'm feeling better already.

My question is: why put the warning on the drugs if they are safe to take? Why cause so much confusion and anxiety among the nursing moms? We're crazy enough on our own. You pharmacists don't need to make matters worse. Why the stern warning when basically the entire medical community agrees that the antibiotic is safe for nursing moms to take? Who do you think you are?!?! You stressed me out today. And I don't need you for that.


nora said...

As someone who takes fourteen pills a day (besides my prenatal) AND nurses a 10-mo, I know what you mean. Basically, I think it comes down to the fact that drug companies want to cover their butts. They do NOT want to be liable for anything that could go wrong with your baby, so they would rather you just not use their product than possibly open up a lawsuit against them. My Crohn's meds aren't recommended for use by nursing moms by the manufacturer but are both rated safe by outside agencies. I used them when I was nursing Will too, and he seems fine so far. :) Crazy, but otherwise fine.

Jill said...