Drug-resistant bacteria and antibiotics

I have a few dead horses which I choose to beat. The MYTH and FEAR associated with discontinuing UNNECESSARY antibiotics, in the event of improperly prescribed (viral illness), or excessive diarrhea (antibiotic induced diarrhea-which could be dangerous C. difficile overgrowth), is one of them.

  • There is no "rule" or "obligation" to continue an UNNECESSARY antibiotic "once started". That just further sensitizes bacteria to the antibiotic, INCREASING the risk of developing antibiotic-resistant bacteria in your child, or in your own gut.

I fully support consulting or notifying the prescribing physician to discuss follow-up, if antibiotics are started and need to be discontinued.

However, it is NOT "harmless", and is potentially dangerous, to continue the same antibiotics with excessive diarrhea (for example), due to dehydration and electrolyte imbalance risks. Greater than SIX diarrhea stools in a 24 hour period should be reported to the prescribing physician, and NOT continue the antibiotic blindly due to some perceived obligation.

  • Children get upper respiratory infections on average 6-8 times per year. The well nourished body can recover from bacterial and viral illnesses, without antibiotics.

"Pneumonia" is a subjective diagnosis, not one which is black or white, without more complete testing and clinical data, such as an actual Culture & Sensitivity of sputum for the properly indicated antibiotic prescription. Otherwise, broad-spectrum antibiotic dosing is *guessing*.

  • Unnecessary antibiotics ARE dangerous! Antibiotics damage the integrity of the microbial balance in the gut. The healthy gut microflora is 70-80% of the immune system. Impaired immune systems are less effective at healing the body.

Question antibiotics. Do not continue them blindly.

Here is more information regarding avoiding drug-resistant bacteria: http://www.mothering.com/community/forum/thread/1046904/healing-gut...

  • Basically, UNNECESSARY antibiotics are the cause, not avoiding antibiotics when NOT needed.

  • Drug resistance results when a bacterial infection is not being treated adequately (broad spectrum antibiotics vs. bacterial specific antibiotics), or when antibiotics are given for viral illnesses inappropriately. The bacteria develop resistance due to *exposure* to the "wrong" (ie. ineffective) antibiotics. If the antibiotic is the appropriate one, the infectious bacteria are killed. Antibiotics are NOT indicated for a viral illness.

Here is info from the FDA regarding "The Rise of Antibiotic Resistant Infections": http://www.rachel.org/files/document/The_Rise_of_Antiobiotic-Resist...

Other factors contributing towards resistance include incorrect diagnosis, unnecessary prescriptions, improper use of antibiotics by patients, the impregnation of household items and children's toys with low levels of antibiotics, and the administration of antibiotics by mouth in livestock for growth promotion."

  • "Improper use of antibiotics by patients" is when the antibiotic given IS indicated for a bacterial infection, but the patient doesn't continue it for the duration to effectively kill the bacteria. There is no indication for antibiotics in simple ear infections, based upon the research. http://heal-thyself.ning.com/profiles/blogs/ear-infections

  • "Multiple resistance, multiple causes - Any time bacteria are exposed to an antibiotic, they are under "selective pressure" that allows only resistant forms to survive and reproduce. So the basic rule in slowing the evolution of resistance is reducing the unnecessary use of antibiotics."




Actually, yes, one round of antibiotics can damage the gut integrity and immune system. http://www.mothering.com/community/forum/thread/1066648/103-fever-i...


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Comment by With Love LB on July 22, 2011 at 7:40pm
Thanx for the information. I never tell anyone that I don't finish a full script of antibiotics. Now I have ammunmition :) It has been years since I've taken any but always supplimented with garlic and probiotics. As soon as I felt infection was manageable, I would stop.


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