Many rumors float about concerning the safety of antibiotics. Our society is dependent on antibiotics to stop infections, infectious diseases, and epidemics. Antibiotics treat illnesses caused by bacteria (but they are not used in the treatment of viral infections). These drugs work by killing a specific species of bacteria or preventing it from reproducing.
Misuse of this medication can result in antibiotic resistance, a serious problem. Did you know that up to one-half of all antibiotic use is unnecessary? Another problem is people do not follow the doctor’s instruction to take each dose until the prescribed medication is exhausted.
Misuse allows bacteria to adapt and evolve to become resistant to an antibiotic. The result are ‘super bacteria’ or ‘superbugs’ that pose a large threat when no medicine will kill them. This problem can be reduced: trust your doctor when you are told you don’t need antibiotics, don’t use for viral infections, only consume what your doctor prescribes for the specific infection, take as directed, don’t skip doses, take all doses as directed, and don’t save any capsules for later use.
A profoundly serious question is — can antibiotics really kill you? Unfortunately, the answer is yes, in some cases. Fluoroquinolone is one of the offenders, sold under the following brand names: Ciprofloxacin (Cipro), Delafloxacin (Baxdela), Levofloxacin (Levaquin), Moxifloxacin (Avelox), and Ofloxacin. Serious side effects of Fluoroquinolone include anxiety, depression, hallucinations, suicidal thoughts, and confusion.
A more severe problem caused by Fluoroquinolone is aortic bleeding. “Fluoroquinolone antibiotics can increase the occurrence of rare but serious events of ruptures or tears in the main artery of the body, called the aorta. These tears, called aortic dissections, or ruptures of an aortic aneurysm can lead to dangerous bleeding or even death,” reports an FDA Drug Safety Communication.
“Fluoroquinolone antibiotics are approved to treat certain bacterial infections and have been used for more than 30 years. They work by killing or stopping the growth of bacteria that can cause illness,” reports the FDA.
Erythromycin, by prescription only in the U.S. but available over the counter in other countries, is a common treatment for infections. However, unmonitored use of this drug can cause sudden cardiac death, especially due to interactions with other drugs known as CYP3A inhibitors such as Nizoral and Diflucan (antifungals); Cardizem, Cartia, Dilacor, Diltia, Tiazac, Teczem, Calan, Covera-HS, Isoptin, Verelan, and Tarka (high blood pressure or heart disease); Crixivan (anti-HIV); Tao (antibiotic); and Serzone (antidepressant).
To minimize health issues caused by antibiotics, follow your doctor’s instructions, and do not use antibiotics that have not been prescribed for the specific illness. Be aware of how medications you are taking for other health problems interact with antibiotics. One of the most important steps you can take is to read the directions included with the medication: you will learn about correct usage, side effects, and possible interactions.