What ARE the dangers of long term antibiotic use?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Joey2276, Apr 30, 2003.

  1. Joey2276

    Joey2276 New Member

    Why is it that when I tell people I'm doing a long term antibiotic treatment trial for chronic lyme disease they get this look in their eyes and say "your taking them for THAT LONG??" I ask what is the danger? Its helping my symptoms and every day I am slowly gaining strength. They have no answer.....just that too much antibiotics is "bad". Now if I get cured and can go off antibiotics thats great; but I've talked to countless people who have responded to long term antibiotics for chronic lyme or CFIDS and its rare that someone is totally cured. Most of them get part way better and then need to stay on antibiotics or they will lose whatever ground they gained. So my question is if I get 50% better and then plataeu is it worth it if I need to be on antibiotics for years and years? I'm taking probiotics and eating a low sugar/carb diet and have had no gut problems so far. If there is some danger I'm missing please someone let me know what it is. Why is it that a subset of FMS/CFIDS patients get dramatic improvement with antibiotics and yet VERY few doctors are willing to give it a try? Just seems ludicrous to me.
    thank you
    P.S. for anyone intersted I have been taking 300mg minocycline per day for 10 weeks and may add biaxin sometime soon. My initial dx was fibro but I've had mixed lyme tests so my LLMD decided we should do a trial. I feel a little stronger but no major changes so far.
  2. PatPalmer

    PatPalmer New Member

    Don`t be offended by peoples reaction.

    You are doing all the necessary by taking supplements, ABX in one form or another is often the only answer to this DD.

    I am delighted this is working for you and hope you go on to regaining 100% health. Please keep us posted, everyone here are always keen to hear successful results, and how.

    Lots of love Pat.
  3. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    For most on long-term ABX treatments with the type we take. I just read an article on this and after years, there were no long-term ill effects as long as people stayed on their probiotics. Fears of developing resistant strains of bacteria were unfounded.

    For years, docs prescribed ABX for viral infections like the common cold. They did this to pacify their patients. Unfortunately, this led to resistant strains of bacteria and the need to develop ever more hard-hitting ABX.

    The type of ABX we are using are not likely to do this. The people who are horrified have been reading stories of the misuse of ABX by docs and are responding to the media exposure. If you feel the need to explain at all, simply tell them you are perfectly safe and that the risks of not treating your illness is far greater than the small risks involved in your treatment. Sometimes, people's questions are good opportunities to educate them about our illnesses.

    Love, Mikie
  4. athome

    athome New Member

    Hi-- I'm not sure about antibiotic uses for my mix of CFS/FM/ repiratory/arthritis stuff.

    My immunologist had me on MRV (Multi Respiratory Virus) vaccine for 8-10 years, at one-tenth dilutions. He also had me on antibiotics permanenly for several years, switching off to a different one each month. I did feel MUCH better. Then they stopped making the vaccine for some reason. I did pretty well just w/ pacing myself,energy conservation, NSAIDS (switching types often), fewer antibiotics--for sinus, antidepressant (lots) & tranqs in low dosage. After all the antibiotics in my life, I've strictly limited them for a couple years. HOWEVER, my internist and I have noticed I feel much better on antibiotics---less joint pain, more energy after initially being moore tired.

    At this point, after seriously overdoing for a year, I'm having the worst time in 12 years. All winter and this far into spring, my bed has been my best friend. Anybody out there with similar experience?

    (Just a side note---so careful w/ sons health that they are in their 30's and have each only had antibiotics twice in their lives. Hope what I have is not genetic!)

    Thanks, Nana
  5. AC77

    AC77 New Member

    Lyme disease is not a frivoulous diagnosis and requires agressive antibiotic treatment. That is why people should not take antibiotics for simple things like colds (which it wont work for anyway) or not finsih the ENTIRE rx. because resistance develops. And that effects us all. So when you need to take an antibiotic for a serious problem such as lyme disease, it may not work because it is resistant. This is becoming a modern epidemic, if not so already.

    In your case you NEED this antibiotic. There is no alternative treatment I would trust. The Pros of it's use far outweigh the cons. All I can add is take some form of acidophilus with this or probotics every other day to restore the natural intestinal flora it depletes and it may help with some of the side effects. Consult your doctor about this. And of course, finish the entire prescribed course layed out by your prescriber :)
  6. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    I have suffered no ill effects nor developed resistant strains of bacteria (knock on wood). I have taken probiotics for years before starting the ABX. Gulf War Vets who are sick have been on long-term ABX use without problems.

    I guess we can look at it this way: Isn't it nice that people care enough about us to be concerned for our welfare?

    Love, Mikie
  7. Joey2276

    Joey2276 New Member

    thanks for replies; I think that for lower dose abx for ones they use for acne like minoycline or doxycycline its very safe or they wouldnt use it for something trivial like pimples. I called several pharmacists and I was told that it is common for someone to be on 200mg of doxy or mino per day for several years if they have a bad case of acne. What I wonder about is higher dose or 3 or 4 abx at the same time. I'm not so much concerned about gut or resistance issures as about damaging the immune system; which is what some holistic doctors seem to think lots of abx will do. My LLMD (lyme doc) likes to hit it hard but she respects my choice to not take huge doses of abx since no one really knows what is best at this point even docs who treat it. some people are cured with an acne dose and some get absolutely no where with massive doses.
    I want to take flagyl; which is great for cyst form of lyme disease; but it hasa black box warning
  8. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Is a good short-term ABX for certain things. I can understand your not wanting to take a lot of heavy-duty ABX's at the same time. It can be good to rotate them or even try a couple in combination as it is sometimes more effective.

    We are gropin in the dark when it comes to a lot of these treatments. Long-term ABX use for our illnesses is relatively new and we are learning as we go along. I think you are wise to lean to the cautious side, especially if you are doing OK as it is. Good luck.

    Love, Mikie