Curse of Antibiotics

A recent study published in British Medical Journal in Nov 2019 found that 25% (32.5 million) of antibiotic prescriptions were inappropriate and 18% (23.7 million) patients had no indication for getting an antibiotic prescription. Only 57% prescriptions were appropriate. Adult male patients, and patients with 1 or more chronic diseases such as high blood pressure and diabetes were more likely to get an unnecessary antibiotic prescription. Specialists prescribed more unnecessary antibiotic scripts compared to primary care physicians.

 

This study highlights an important problem facing our healthcare system. The excessive use of antibiotics leads to serious consequences including

 

  1. Gastrointestinal side effects- leaky gut (intestinal permeability) leading to autoimmune diseases, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), and C. Difficile colitis.

  2. Liver damage

  3. Kidney failure, 

  4. Anaphylaxis (a life threatening allergic reaction), 

  5. Irreversible teeth stains

  6. Fungal infections

  7. Tendon rupture, muscle and joint pain

  8. Neurological symptoms such as memory problems, pins and needles,  insomnia, vision and hearing loss, and altered taste and smell.

  9. Fatigue

  10. Depression, anxiety and psychosis.

 

Another important consequence of overuse of antibiotics is the development of antibiotic resistant infections which are extremely difficult to treat and pose an important threat to the entire community.

 

How to prevent overuse of Antibiotics?

 

  • Do not pressurize your physician to prescribe antibiotics

  • If your doctor prescribes an antibiotic, ask you doctor ‘Do I really need this?

  • Remember that antibiotics do not work for viral infections.

  • Stay home when sick, keep yourself well hydrated and get adequate sleep.

  • Talk to your functional physician about natural botanical options for viral and mild bacterial infections.

 

Share this information with all your family and loved ones to prevent side effects and complications associated with unnecessary and overuse of antibiotics. 



Reference: BMJ 2019; 367 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.l6461 (Published 11 December 2019)

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