Antibiotic medications can often save lives in the case of severe infections. It is very possible that physicians recommend antibiotics too much and in situations when they are not needed or not effective.
Just recently, a good friend of mine had symptoms that looked a lot like the flu. They got pretty bad and the emergency room physicians said it was probably the flu, but gave her antibiotics as well (even though the flu is viral and antibiotics don’t kill viruses.)
Antibiotics kill bacteria, including the “good bacterial” that help to keep pathogenic (harmful) bacteria at bay in your gut. So taking antibiotic medications too often can disrupt the healthy balance of good and bad bacterial in your gut (dysbiosis) and cause intestinal problems. This is why it is often recommended to take probiotics like acidophilus to reestablish healthy balance in your gut after taking antibiotic medicines. (These medicines kill the good bacteria as well as the bad).
Most of the time (if not all) when your physician thinks that you have a sinus infection, (facial pain, cough, and nasal congestion) you will once again be recommended to take some kind of antibiotic medication. Common sense seems to support the logic behind this recommendation.
Recent research indicates that antibiotic drugs do NOT reduce symptoms of sinusitis nor do they speed up recovery. This is especially true for patients with sudden on-set sinusitis.
Research published in the Journal of the America Medical Association (JAMA) found that the popular antibiotic, amoxicillin, was no better than a placebo drug in treating sinusitis (inflammation of the nasal cavity). One of the researchers, Jane Garbutt, MD stated “Most people didn’t derive any clinical benefit from the antibiotic, so most people likely don’t need any antibiotic treatment.”
Even the Centers of Disease Control only recommend the use of antibiotics when symptoms of sinus infection are severe. This study didn’t make it clear as to whether or not the antibiotics would be useful in the case of severe infections.
Knowing that antibiotics cause dysbiosis and over-use can cause bacterial drug resistance, it’s time to speak up and question whether or not another prescription for antibiotics are REALLY necessary for most cases of sinusitis. 8 out of 10 peoples symptoms resolve within 10 days without taking an antibiotic drug and those who take the drug don’t do any better.
Curt Hendrix, M.S., C.C.N., C.N.S.