When to Think Twice About Taking Fluoroquinolones
Fluoroquinolones are extremely strong antibiotics that are designed to fight severe, potentially life-threatening infections. Unfortunately, fluoroquinolones such as Avelox and Levaquin are often prescribed for relatively minor illnesses. Even worse, these drugs have been linked to serious nerve damage that, in some instances, can be permanent. If your doctor recommends that you take one of these drugs for one of the following conditions, you need to have a detailed discussion to be certain it will be safe for you to take the medication.
Many people contract bronchitis, also referred to as a “chest cold.” This condition is a type of infection most typically caused by a virus. However, antibiotics are effective against bacteria – not viruses. Once exception is patients who have COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. This can be a severe condition that may lead to trouble breathing. Antibiotics may be able to help COPD symptoms, but you need to talk to your doctor and make sure which one will be best for you.
Just like bronchitis, the vast majority of sinus infections are caused by viruses, not bacteria. As a result, antibiotics – no matter how powerful they may be – will usually not work. But in the rare instance that a sinus infection is due to bacteria, antibiotics are typically not necessary because the infection usually clears up within a week or two. If your symptoms worsen or turn severe (accompanied by a high fever, extreme pain and tenderness, etc.), then an antibiotic such as amoxicillin may be helpful.
Urinary Tract Infections
A urinary tract infection is a painful problem usually accompanied by burning or extreme discomfort when urinating, or bloody or cloudy urine. While painful, this condition is usually very simple to treat with less powerful antibiotics. Fluoroquinolones are typically needed only if the infection has proven resistant to other antibiotics.