Antibiotic Overuse: Risks Outweigh Benefits, Says People's Chemist Shane Ellison
The overuse of antibiotics is "slowly killing us," said Shane Ellison, author of Over-the-Counter Natural Cures.
"My daughter was three years old when she had her first emergency room visit. Suffering from high fever and chest pain, every muscle in her fragile body tensed for air. Her lungs were being attacked by pneumonia. The antibiotic penicillin saved her life," said Ellison, who is known as "The People's Chemist."
"Today, antibiotics are a luxury that previous generations didn't have. But antibiotic overuse is slowly killing us. Igniting massive amounts of side effects, they're also training bacteria how to evade our most potent medicines," said Ellison, an award-winning chemist.
"If our current use of antibiotics continues at this rate, antibiotic resistance will soon yield all current medications useless according to the World Health Organization (WHO). And that means, we have no more defenses against biological nasties - our longevity would go back to the Stone Age, where every infection was life threatening," Ellison said.
"Antibiotic medications should never be used as a first line of defense against common illness. When I wrote Over-The-Counter Natural Cures, I taught that the lucky run we've had with antibiotics is over and we need to start relying on our own immune system - innate and adaptive immunity. In addition to strengthening our natural defenses, we need to start using natural medicines like andrographis, which are proven to ward off harmful organisms, safely and quickly," he said.
Ellison said prescription antibiotics should not be used for:
Urinary tract infection
Preventive medicine during or after birth in hospital
"Using antibiotics as preventive medicine is totally ridiculous because you have no way knowing what strain of bacteria you are trying to prevent and therefore have no idea what medication to use, since all antibiotics target different strains," he said.
Most people don't know that antibiotics are being overused or that they have alternatives. And that's dangerous. Former drug representative and contributor to the above story John Fratti explains:
"Once upon a time I could run, jump and play many different sports. Those days are now long gone. They've been replaced by a life of constant physical and neurological pain caused by an antibiotic in a class of antibiotics called quinolones. They are one of the most commonly prescribed classes of antibiotics today - prescribed for urinary tract, sinus and respiratory infections, just to name a few. What differentiates this class from others is that they have the ability to cause severe and permanent disability - making the risks far greater than the rewards," he said.
Many of these side effects can occur weeks to months after taking the antibiotics, so many people never associate their health problems to the drug, which puts thousands of future patients at risk. "Ironically, I was a pharmaceutical sales rep for over eight years prior to taking this antibiotic," he said.
"I worked hard to obtain a master's degree and lived a healthy lifestyle. I didn't smoke, drink or do anything illegal. I was simply given a legal drug due to a suspected bacterial infection. I now live with many different physical and neurological impairments and am unable to have a career of any kind as a result. I wish I was more informed," he said. "My goal now is to help others avoid taking antibiotics at all costs by understanding the risks.
"Before anyone takes a quinolone antibiotic they have the right to know that it can cause irreversible damage, and that there are alternatives. I have since started a blog at Levaquinadversesideeffect.com and hopefully it will have an impact at letting people hear this urgent message," he said.
Ellison said four of the safest antibiotics are:
"To further increase the safety profile of these medications, consume with purified water, milk thistle and probiotics, which help rebuild the 'good' bacteria in your gut that is destroyed by antibiotics. Never consume alcohol while taking meds," Ellison said.
"The euphoria over antibiotics can be strong. Especially after experiencing their amazing ability to rescue a loved one from the grips of a life-threatening illness, which I did. But we can't let it overpower our logic and push us to overuse medications that can have lasting side effects," he said.
For information, go to thepeopleschemist.com.