Health

People Are Pissed About This Pharmacy's "Irresponsible" Subway Ad

Sure, subway sneezers are gross, but this might be a little dramatic.

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New Yorkers see a lot of questionable stuff on the subway, and they currently have questions about this ad for Capsule Pharmacy.

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Capsule is a New York-based pharmacy that offers free delivery to anywhere in the city.

Specifically, they're wondering why anyone would need "very, very strong antibiotics" for a sneeze.

Totally irresponsible advertising, anti-public health @capsulecares @MTA #NYC subway

And not even a sneeze that you sneezed, but a sneeze you witnessed on the train.

Here's the thing: You probably don't need antibiotics for a sneeze. And you really don't need antibiotics just for being exposed to someone who sneezes.

@capsulecares You DON'T take antibiotics for a virus!

Antibiotics, also known as antimicrobial drugs, are used to fight infections caused by bacteria — like strep throat, gonorrhea, or a urinary tract infection.

They don't, however, help treat viruses, like the common cold, the flu, most sinus infections, and most chest colds (like bronchitis).

Obviously a sneeze can be a symptom of lots of different things, but it's not usually a sign of a bacterial infection. Most of the time, a sneeze is a symptom of allergies or a cold or flu.

People were quick to point out that taking antibiotics when you don't need them can do more harm than good.

This plan won't help your sneeze, but it will help you get closer to an infection untreatable by antibiotics. Thank… https://t.co/6NJR994xYO

According to the CDC, taking antibiotics for a virus can increase your risk of getting an antibiotic-resistant infection in the future. They can also kill off healthy bacteria in your body and lead to adverse side effects. So unless you really need them to fight off a bacterial infection, you shouldn't be taking antibiotics.

Plus, the widespread overuse and misuse of antibiotics can lead to antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which is terrifying.

So, while getting sneezed on in the subway is a very legitimate fear for all New Yorkers, it's not a reason to ask your doctor to call in antibiotics to the nearest pharmacy.

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Gross, yes. Antibiotic-worthy, probably not.

For more information on when you should and shouldn't take antibiotics, check out this helpful guide from the CDC.

BuzzFeed Health reached out to Capsule for comment.