Resistance to antibiotics is a growing problem.

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by matthewson, Aug 17, 2005.

  1. matthewson

    matthewson New Member

    Background on Antibiotic Resistance

    Antibiotics, also known as antimicrobial drugs, are drugs that fight infections caused by bacteria. After their discovery in the 1940's they transformed medical care and dramatically reduced illness and death from infectious diseases. However, over the decades the bacteria that antibiotics control have developed resistance to these drugs. Today, virtually all important bacterial infections in the United States and throughout the world are becoming resistant. For this reason, antibiotic resistance is among CDC's top concerns.

    Antibiotic resistance has been called one of the world's most pressing public health problems.

    Antibiotic resistance can cause significant danger and suffering for children and adults who have common infections, once easily treatable with antibiotics.

    Antibiotic Resistance- what it is and how it happens:
    Antibiotic use promotes development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria change in some way that reduces or eliminates the effectiveness of drugs, chemicals, or other agents designed to cure or prevent infections. The bacteria survive and continue to multiply causing more harm. Widespread use of antibiotics promotes the spread of antibiotic resistance. While antibiotics should be used to treat bacterial infections, they are not effective against viral infections like the common cold, most sore throats, and the flu.

    Antibiotics kill bacteria, not viruses

    Smart use of antibiotics is the key to controlling the spread of resistance.

    What does CDC recommend?

    Only use antibiotics when they are likely to be beneficial.

    By visiting this website you are taking the first step to reducing your risk of getting antibiotic-resistant infections. It is important to understand that, although they are very useful drugs, antibiotics designed for bacterial infections are not useful for viral infections such as a cold, cough, or flu.

    How can you prevent antibiotic-resistant infections?

    Talk with your health care provider about antibiotic resistance.
    Ask whether an antibiotic is likely to be beneficial for your illness.
    Ask what else you can do to feel better sooner.
    Do not take an antibiotic for a viral infection like a cold or the flu.

    Do not save some of your antibiotic for the next time you get sick.

    Take an antibiotic exactly as the doctor tells you.

    Do not take an antibiotic that is prescribed for someone else.

    [This Message was Edited on 08/18/2005]
  2. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    For years, docs have given ABX to patients for viruses when they knew they were ineffective. They must have decided that it would comfort the patients to think they were doing something about the viral infections.

    One of the biggest problems is that docs are always wanting to prescribe the "latest and greatest" ABX instead of using the tried and true ABX which would do the job just as well. The newer ones were developed for heavy hitter bacterial infections and never meant to treat everyday bacterial infections. Many were developed for AIDS patients who develop serious bacterial infections. By prescribing the newest ABX, docs were greatly contributing to the resistance problem.

    Patients who stop taking their ABX before they run out are part of the problem as well. If bacteria are attacked by ABX but the ABX is withdrawn before all the bacteria are killed off, the survivors develop resistance.

    Our public water supplies and our meat and poultry contain ABX. This is another manner in which resistant strains develop.

    In Russia, they have been successfully using phages instead of ABX with good success. Using a phage is like using a toxoid to develop immunity in the individual instead of killing the pathogen. Transfer factors use basically the same idea but are different. Both these technologies take a lot longer than ABX. People today want instant panaceas. This mindset may have to change.

    ABX, like the Doxycycline used to treat Lyme and mycoplasma infections, don't outright kill bacteria. They change the outer coating of the body's cells so that the bacteria cannot invade them. These types of ABX are less likely to produce resistance in the bacteria. Some docs rotate ABX in long-term treatment to avoid causing resistance too.

    We really need to be much more careful than we have in the past regarding the use of ABX. I'm glad the Doxy was there for me when I desperately needed it. I am also grateful for the AV's when I needed them. I hope that docs will stop the practice of overprescribing ABX and choose to treat with AV's when the situation calls for them.

    Love, Mikie
  3. allie42

    allie42 Guest

    I think you've absolutely hit the nail on the head. I think a lot of doctors just give patients "something" so they'll feel "doctored."

    I'm in my early sixties, and I grew up overseas with my missionary doctor uncle attending my illnesses when they came up. Years ago, when I was still in my teens, I remember that my Uncle Jim told my mother that doctors in America were giving too many antibios much too often for things that didn't need that treatment. He also said that we would eventually pay for it. It appears we're THERE.

    My children's Ped. always told me that viruses don't respond to antibios, and he wouldn't give them unless a secondary (bacterial) infection developed from the virus. I'm so thankful now for both those doctors, and what their wise treatment has probably meant to our health as a family.
  4. backporchrags

    backporchrags New Member

    for me to be taken to the doctor as a child. I remember the 2 times I was on antibiotics.. Strep throat and Scarlet Fever. As an adult I rarely get colds or the flu. If I do I do not take antibiotics unless I am sure of a bad infection. I can usually get better without them because I was not always allowing drugs to do the work of my immune system.
    When my children get sick I adopt the wait and see approach. If there is no obvious infection or alarming symptoms I don't take them to the doctor right away. This kills my mother-in-law! She is always asking if the doctor rxed antibiotics. When I tell her I did not take them to see the doctor right away I can see her discomfort. BUT.... my kids rarely get sick and when they do I give them time to heal themselves. The result is children with fantastic immune systems and no immunity to antibiotics. When they really need them they will work.
    I take the over use of antibiotics very seriously. I also take my childrens health just as seriously. I allow a chance for their immune systems to do their jobs. The results being healthier children.
    Thank you for posting, the over use of antibiotics is alarming, the consequences devestating,
  5. matthewson

    matthewson New Member

    to antibiotics. I did the same with my children, much to the chagrin of my mother-in-law who was an LPN! I think we were right to do that.

    There is a study out there that links the amount of exposure to an increase in breast cancer. I was suprised to see that!

    The hospital that I work at had the dubious distinction of having only one of three cases worldwide of vancomycin- resistant staph aureus! This patient was left on vancomycin too long and resistance developed.

    Thanks for you responses. Sally

    PS. I just reread you response Mikie and you are right on! Dr.s routinely give out the heavy hitters or broad-spectrum antibiotics when they could give out some of the older and less costly abx. I have had a couple of procedures done where they have given me antibiotics afterwards and I have asked NOT to have any broad spectrum abx. [This Message was Edited on 08/19/2005]