Now we thought it was time to take the elephant out of the room. The elephant being the fact that an antibiotic that has hurt the lives and well-being of countless patients and their families COULD, in a life-or-death circumstance, be a lifesaver.
That is because Levaquin, Cipro and Avelox are antibiotics that were made to treat life or death infections. Severe infection like Anthrax? Cipro can take care of that. Recurrent infection that is getting increasingly worse? Avelox can take care of that. How about infections in people who are already very ill or elderly? Levaquin can help.
Fluoroquinolone antibiotics can save lives… but with the over-prescription of these powerful antibiotics for infections that are not life-threatening they become less able to kick in when you may need them the most.
It’s called “antibiotic resistance” and it’s not some hunch or conspiracy theory. Instead, antibiotic resistance is the very real resistance to antibiotics that i s occurring in our antibiotic-friendly country.
You might have experienced having a minor cough, itchy throat or general fatigue and visiting or calling your doctor only to hear that your doctor “is not in the practice of prescribing antibiotics freely” (— true words we’ve heard from one of our doctors!). Typically, these doctors prefer to have their patients naturally work through the infection before taking an antibiotic. That’s because
- antibiotics aren’t always needed to treat infections — the body can naturally fight the infection,
- antibiotics get rid of “good bacteria” in the gut, and
- your body gets used to antibiotics and an antibiotic that might work for you great one time might not necessarily work so well the next time… as your body has unfortunately built a resistance to the medicine.
Another issue is sometimes antibiotics are prescribed when doctors are not sure if they will work (— remember your mom trying to figure out whether you had a cold or the flu?).
Dr. Tom Frieden, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently went public saying that at least one third — and maybe even one half — of all antibiotic prescriptions in the United States were either unnecessary or inappropriately broad-spectrum. (“Broad-spectrum antibiotic” = strong and capable of treating a multitude of bacterial infections).
Dr. Frieden attributed this over-prescription to a number of facts, including the fact that the causes of infections have changed drastically and what used to be more likely to be caused by bacteria might not be anymore. Not to mention the fact that many patients walk in demanding an antibiotic (— after all, and rightly so, patients want to get better quickly!).
In addition to these facts, we’d like to add another, a fact that has a whole lot to do with the over-prescription of the heavyweight fluoroquinolone antibiotics Levaquin, Avelox and Cipro: Lots and lots of marketing.
Levaquin, Avelox and Cipro are heavily marketed antibiotics. Antibiotics that are marketed directly to doctors — doctors that, believe it or not, largely depend on information from Big Pharma companies when evaluating risks and benefits of drugs.
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