Here’s Why You Might Not Get Antibiotics During Your Urgent Care Visit

Aug 21 2023

It is important to not take antibiotics when you don’t need to. Not only will they not help you feel any better, but they might also cause some unwanted side effects.

So, if you are seeking medical treatment at an urgent care, the provider will only give you an antibiotics prescription if you are suffering from an infection caused by bacteria. These include infections such as whooping cough, strep throat or a urinary tract infection.

Additionally, antibiotic resistance is one of the top concerns of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Therefore, they advise that health care providers and organizations to only prescribe antibiotics when it’s necessary.

Some of the most common maladies, or viruses that can’t be cured with antibiotics, include:

  • Most sore throats, with the exception of strep throat
  • The flu
  • Chest colds and bronchitis
  • Colds and runny noses, even if the mucus is thick, yellow or green

However, some illnesses can be viral or bacterial. These include:

Our urgent care teams may decide to run lab tests to either rule out or confirm strep throat or the flu, among other illnesses. They will also take other things into consideration, like how severe your symptoms are as well as how long you’ve had them.

All this information will help them determine what treatment plan is best for you.

For example, instead of prescribing your medication for a sinus infection, the provider might advise you to try some over-the-counter medicines to help reduce your congestion and soothe your cough. Then, if your sinus infection still hasn’t gone away in a week, it may be time to try antibiotics at that time.

Recent data from the CDC shows that about 30 percent of antibiotic prescriptions are unnecessary.

Antibiotics taken too frequently is the leading contributor to antibiotic-resistant germs. This means that if you take antibiotics when you don’t need to, there is a chance they won’t work when they are really needed with future illnesses.

If the medical provider doesn’t think an antibiotic is the answer for your illness, be sure to talk to them about what medication may help with symptom relief. Also, discuss next steps! Ask them if a follow-up visit or additional lab tests are needed if your symptoms persist or get worse.

So, if you ever visit one of our urgent care centers and don’t get antibiotics, please know our health care providers have your best overall health in mind. Also, never hesitate to ask questions and get information on how to best relieve your symptoms at home.

Learn more about the urgent care services we provide at Bon Secours.

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