Dangers of Taking Antibiotics

Antibiotics are lifesavers when people are critically ill. If they had been only used as a last-resort, all would be fine. Unfortunately this has not been the case…

1. Over-Prescription

The more often they are exposed to antibiotics, bacteria will become resistant to their affects. Already many antibiotics are useless against many bacteria (such as the super bug MSRA).

The problem is due to doctors trying to appease patients. A 2003 study published by the CDC revealed that 48% of people expected to be prescribed an antibiotic  when they went to their GP for a common cold, believing that it would help them get well faster.

2. Side Effects

Birth defects have been associated with Sulfa-type antibiotics, including sinus problems, cleft palate and deformed limbs (according to a 2009 study).

Other side effects can include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, allergic reactions, convulsions, phototoxicity, damage to hearing, dizziness, kidney damage and anaphylactic shock.

3. Destruction of Good Bacteria

Along with the bacteria causing the ailment, antibiotics will destroy all beneficial bacteria as well. The main problem with this is that gut bacteria is necessary to your immune system – so taking antibiotics can lower your overall healthiness.

4. Farm Animals

It has become common practice to feed livestock with antibiotics to improve their healthiness and enable them to gain a minor increase in weight. Unfortunately the antibiotics used are the very same as those used on humans.

Animal waste is used in fertilizer (useful for growing plants for food), and farm animal urine ends up in our water supply. These increase human exposure to antibiotics.

Surgery and Super Bugs

There is a growing trend, where operations are not carried out because the risks of surgery outweigh the benefits. Some examples:

Prostate Cancer – patients who had biopsies that tested negative have a 3% chance of ending up in hospital due to antibiotic-resistant bacteria infections (according to a Canadian study). Sometimes this is fatal. Questions are being asked as to whether current screening and testing techniques  for prostate cancer are worth the risk.