Dad's uro sent Dad to a different Infectious Disease doctor for a consult about the VRE and lingering yeast infection that showed up on the culture of his recently removed stents. This doctor told Dad that if he did not treat the VRE, it could end up in his bloodstream, which would be a very bad thing. Duh!
So Dad is understandably confused. One ID doc says treat the VRE and the other says don't treat unless you have symptoms. Dad does NOT want to take antibiotics unless it is absolutely necessary especially since they cost $140 a day and he is not sure his insurance will cover the medication. plus he does not want to become resistant to yet another drug. He does not currently have symptoms. But, people colonized with VRE have a better chance of developing an infection from the VRE.
To me, this is a kind of damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't situation. There is only one oral medication that can treat VRE. The medication is Zyvox (linezolid) and it has some pretty bad potential side effects which could be magnified in the elderly. The FDA put out a black box warning in 2007 saying don't use for gram-negative bacteria and for catheter-related infections. Not sure if Dad's infection would qualify as "catheter-related" and I do not know if the bacteria is gram negative or not. The prescribing doctor knows Dad has stents.
My fear is that if he developed a VRE-related infection, it might be too late to treat it effectively. This situation seems like another gamble: how much are you willing to bet that you won't develop the infection?
To take the antibiotic or not to take it? Suggestions/ideas?
Seems my Dad now has a VRE! My guess is he picked it up during his most recent hospital stay where the nurses were offended if you asked them to wash their hands.
He has an appointment with the Infectious Disease doc next week but I don't have much faith in her. She is the one who only visited my 82-year-old father twice in 9 days when she had him on Vancomycin and allowed me to suggest the drug to treat his yeast infection! At that point, Dad had been on the vanc for about 3 weeks and administering it to himself at home.
I don't think Dad is experiencing any symptoms of the VRE and I think it is in his urinary tract as it showed up in a urine culture. Is there ANYTHING that can treat this superbug?