The ‘complete the course’ antibiotic message from doctors is NOT backed by good science, say experts

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antibiotics(NaturalHealth365) Doctors are known for insisting that an entire course of antibiotics should be taken whenever they are prescribed. This advice has been maintained even when patients start to feel better or their symptoms have abated. Now new information out of Brighton and Sussex Medical School is saying otherwise.

Professor Martin Llewelyn and colleagues from Brighton and Sussex believe that the old way of thinking regarding finishing the entire amount of an antibiotic treatment does not apply in all cases. They say the practice of insisting on a full course is not backed by science or adequate evidence to support it in all cases.

Overuse of antibiotics fueling antibiotic resistance, a global health threat

In fact, following this advice could increase the risk of antibiotic resistance  – a growing concern for health professionals today. When antibiotic treatment is given longer than necessary, this can actually cause bacteria to spread more quickly and render the antibiotic less effective for patients – in the future.

Conventionally speaking, antibiotics have been a cornerstone of modern medicine to fight disease and bacterial infections.  Yet, in reality, the ‘passion’ to prescribe these drugs has also fueled antibiotic resistance – a global health crisis.

Contrary to some theories being circulated, stopping a course of antibiotics early does not lead to antibiotic resistance.  In fact, taking these drugs longer than necessary can actually increase the risk of antibiotic resistance, according to the UK researchers.

Some illnesses will still require a full course of antibiotics

There will always be exceptions – where taking the entire course of antibiotics is the best decision. For example, patients with tuberculosis usually have to take the entire course of antibiotics.  However, the longer common bacteria like staph and E coli are exposed to antibiotics, the more likely they are to develop resistance to them.

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Naturally, for many readers of NaturalHealth365, we all strive to take as few medications as possible, and it turns out that this could apply in many cases when antibiotics are prescribed as well.  After all, the value of antibiotics can only be realized – if avoided most of the time and taken (only) when needed.

Fortunately, there are many other (safe and effective) ways to deal with superbugs, viral infections and chronic disease – without the need for toxic medications.

Ask your doctor: Can you limit the course of antibiotic treatment?

An increasing number of medical professionals are adopting this more flexible view when it comes to prescribing antibiotics. The goal – moving forward – is to determine the ideal amount of antibiotics to prescribe for each illness – if needed at all.  And, while this does require more (thoughtful) effort and monitoring by healthcare providers, the payoff in a lower risk of antibiotic resistance is well worth it.

Of course, British researchers add that more studies will be required to help determine ideal strategies for optimizing the use of antibiotic treatments.  But, it’s clear from this research that the (conventional) medical community is slowing waking up to the dangers of pharmaceutical medications.

So, the next time you are prescribed antibiotics, ask your doctor about the possibility of limiting the length of the course.  Or, better yet, ask for a more natural way to deal with your health issues.  If they can’t help you … find another healthcare provider.

Sources for this article include:

Eurekalert.org
BMJ.com