Fast food antibiotics

Packaging antibiotics in “paks” is nothing new and is only gaining popularity. Patients love it, and it’s easy for physicians to write “***-pak, use as directed”. Azithromycin has the popular 5-day formulation (Z-pak) and a 3-day formulation (Tri-pak).

Levaquin now has the 5-day Leva-pak (750mg x 5 days) – which has the potential for wide-spread (ab)use. This is especially troubling given the emerging Streptococcal resistance to quinolones, but that’s another story.

I am now informed that a single-dose Azithromycin for respiratory infections is in the works. There are some studies that show equivalent efficacy, and I have no doubt that it’s an inevitable trend in our instant-gratification, fast-food culture. As broader spectrum antibiotics become easier to take (why take 10 days of Amoxicillin, when you can take 1 dose of Azithromycin?), there can be no doubt that we’re taking a step back in the fight against bacterial resistance.

“I’ll have a Z-pak to go” – can we be far off?

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