Antibiotic Side Effects: 8 Insane Things They Do to Your Body
Antibiotic side effects should be on everyone’s radar, given the scope of antibiotic use in the United States. As of April 2018, antibiotics ranked as the No. 1 most commonly prescribed drug class with sales hitting $40 billion globally. (1) Between 2000 and 2015, human use of antibiotics rose by nearly 40 percent. And some economists now say that if nothing changes, antibiotic resistance will be responsible for 10 million deaths around the world by 2050. (2) Clearly, a lot of people are taking antibiotics (and a lot of money is being made), but are they now hurting us more than they’re helping us?
As antibiotic resistance continues to rise, these medications are creating even more health problems in the U.S. and around the world. In fact, a recent article entitled Deadly ‘Nightmare Bacteria’ Resistant to Antibiotics Infected 221 Americans in 2017, CDC Says is just one of many recent accounts of the scary antibiotic side effects.
I’m about to tell you about more about both the short and long-term side effects of antibiotics…
What Is an Antibiotic?
What exactly is an antibiotic? Antibiotics definition: A drug used to treat bacterial infections. When antibiotics first came on the scene, they consisted of naturally derived substances made from a microorganism to selectively inhibit the growth of other microorganisms. Penicillin, discovered in 1926, is a perfect example. The fungi-produced antibiotic inhibited certain types of harmful bacteria. Nowadays, we have many more antibiotics on the market and a lot of them are synthetic or manmade. (3)
Wondering about the top 10 antibiotics and their uses? Some of the most commonly used generic antibiotics include:
- LevofloxacinSome of the most common uses of antibiotics include the treatment of acne, bronchitis, conjunctivitis (pink eye), ear infections, sexually transmitted diseases, skin infections, strep throat, traveler’s diarrhea, upper respiratory tract infections and urinary tract infections. (4)It’s important to note that antibiotics have zero effect on viral infections which is why they should never be used for them. Examples of viral infections in which people wrongly choose to use antibiotics? The common cold or influenza. Some people also take antibiotics for throat infection, but that should never be recommended unless it’s a bacteria throat infection such as strep. As the CDC points out: “Most sore throats will go away on their own without antibiotics.” (5)Patients stopping antibiotics early due to side effects is a common occurrence. Many doctors will warn that stopping early leaves bacteria behind to grow stronger or possibly resistant to additional treatment. According to the World Health Organization, “Evidence is emerging that shorter courses of antibiotics may be just as effective as longer courses for some infections. Shorter treatments make more sense – they are more likely to be completed properly, have fewer side effects and also likely to be cheaper. They also reduce the exposure of bacteria to antibiotics, thereby reducing the speed by which the pathogen develops resistance.” (6)Whether you take antibiotics when it’s inappropriate (viral infections) or when it can be viewed as warranted (bacterial infections), let’s talk about some of the many possible side effects of antibiotics.
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