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Mucinex’s ‘Monsters in Waiting’ alert urgent care patients about antibiotic misuse


By Audrey Kemp, LA Reporter

April 11, 2024 | 3 min read

Antibiotic and prescription ‘monsters’ sit in an urgent care waiting room to spread awareness about growing antibiotic resistance worldwide.

mucinex installation

Monsters made of medication bottles and doctors' prescriptions sit in an urgent care waiting room. / Credit: Mucinex

Antibiotics pose significant risks, particularly when used unnecessarily for common ailments like colds, flu or fever. Despite this, misconceptions persist, contributing to a staggering annual toll of 2.8m antibiotic-resistant infections and 35,000 deaths in the US, according to the CDC.

Some might say the overprescription of antibiotics has spawned a monster known as antibiotic resistance. To spread awareness about this global threat, Mucinex, Reckitt’s over-the-counter cough medicine, today unleashed ‘Monsters in Waiting,’ an experimental installation in the waiting room of a HealthNeed Medical Urgent Care in Queens, New York.

The work comprises two oversized monsters: ‘Amber,’ who is assembled out of antibiotic pill bottles, and ‘Rex,’ who is fashioned from paper prescriptions.

“Antibiotic overuse is a problem that is unseen and the warnings are often unheeded,” said Dr Charles Pollack, the North American and global upper respiratory medical science director at Reckitt. “But the monsters in our waiting room are impossible to ignore. This is a great way to educate and inform people.”

The ’monsters’ are part of the Mucinex’s ongoing ‘Flip the Script’ campaign.

“We want to shine a light on the pervasive issue of antibiotic resistance,” added Mark Pearson, vice-president of marketing for health brands at Reckitt. “Overuse gives bacteria and germs more opportunity to build resistance to antibiotics, which can lead to them becoming ineffective when they are really needed.”

Mucinex’s new partnership with urgent and primary care centers targets states with high antimicrobial resistance and antibiotic use. At these centers, patients can now receive educational materials on antibiotic resistance. Additionally, if an over-the-counter medication is recommended, patients can receive an informative brochure instead of a prescription, along with a coupon for Mucinex.

McCann New York led the campaign.

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