Antibiotics before the infection?

Antibiotics before the infection?

Summary: Overuse has resulted in antibiotic resistant strains like MRSA running riot in hospitals, threatening patients. Now hospitals are being told to administer them absent infection.

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TOPICS: Security, Health
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Penicillan from inventorspot.comA study of 6,000 Dutch patients shows that giving antibiotics to all patients in intensive care prevents infections and saves more lives than giving them after the infection turns up. (Picture from Inventorspot.)

While the result makes sense it is bound to prove controversial. Doctors have been fighting for a decade to reduce consumer use of antibiotics. Overuse has resulted in antibiotic resistant strains like MRSA running riot in hospitals, threatening patients.

Now hospitals are being told to administer them absent infection.

The confusion continues, as a supermarket offers generic antibiotics free to people who are filling other prescriptions.

For generations antibiotics have been considered both safe and effective. They can be the first prescription a pediatrician offers, and the first ointment a worried mother tries.

But they don't work for everything. They don't work on colds, which are viral in origin. And the big "no" on over-use has spread worldwide. That's why the search is on for alternatives, like honey  and silver.

It's practically a scientific principle. When something works it is overused, and then doesn't work anymore.

Topics: Security, Health

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6 comments
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  • Less antibiotics, not more

    One of the biggest failures of antibiotics -- and the medical profession's knee jerk response of prescribing them -- is that they weaken a patient's immune system, resulting in repeat infections and chronic fatigue conditions. Hack doctors.
    aspit
    • Amazing

      It is amazing how little faith readers here have
      toward doctors, and how much antipathy. Hack doctors?
      DanaBlankenhorn
      • Ok...

        Ok, antipathy towards doctors, noted. Care to dispute the overuse of antibiotics?
        aspit
    • How about...

      People start blaming themselves instead of everyone else for a change.

      For example, this issue has been known for decades and only now because new resistant viruses are emerging people start whinging.

      Western patients keep looking for the quick and easy fix, when in reality listening to their body is the best way to heal it (ie: if you're tired and feel sickly then perhaps a diet change and better sleep patterns would do more than craming down more caffiene, sugar and head ache tablets).

      Only when you're actually sick, with a dangerous bacterial infection should you ask for the drugs.
      bladeoz
  • Go easy on the silver, though...

    ...cuz some claim it can make you blue...and I don't mean sad.

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,317564,00.html

    http://www.bartonpublishing.com/blog/2008/01/14/colloidal-silver-natural-remedy-gone-bad-blue-skin-man/
    MGP2
  • RE: Antibiotics before the infection?

    The principle, "when something works it is overused, and then doesn???t work anymore", certainly applies to antibiotics. But there is no good reason it should apply to bacteriophages.

    So perhaps the Soviets were right to focus on using phages against bacterial infections instead. The Phage Treatment Center in Tbilisi, Georgia, is one of the world leaders in the use of phages to fight bacterial infections.

    Paying attention to what they have achieved there is all the more important today, with all these antibiotic-resistant strains. But viruses mutate even faster than bacteria. So PTC can ususally still find an effective phage, no matter what the bacteria does.
    mejohnsn