Antibiotic resistance update

Some of the responses from medical doctors involved in a brand-new prospective study published in the Lancet today are downright alarming:

  • "...get on and do something about it before the antibiotic era finally grinds to its apocalyptic halt..."
  • "...antibiotic prescribing affects the patient, their environment, and all the people that come into contact with that patient or with their environment..."
  • "Physicians should take into account the striking ecological side-effects of antibiotics when prescribing such drugs to their patients..."
Two macrolide antibiotics, Zithromax and Biaxin, were administered to patients and the naturally-occurring strep bacteria in their throats were examined at the end of treatment. Within a week at most, the treatment group showed over 50% more resistant bacteria than did the placebo group. These effects, the study concludes, were evident for up to 180 days after the treatment (at which point the study stopped following the patients).
And as the comments above rightly point out, antibiotic resistance isn't limited to the patient receiving treatment - bacteria are experts at spreading their successful adaptations.
Herbalists have been pointing out the dangers of antibiotic overuse for years now, and the medical community has been coming around (note the recommendation against antibiotics in childhood ear infections, and against overprescription in bronchitis). Antibiotics are fantastic lifesavers when used in dire situations. But with the dangers of their indiscriminate use now clearly proven, what can we turn to?

Talk to your local herbalist.

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