Fluoroquinolones — worse than the disease?
by Dr. Fred G. Arnold —
A n article in the Arizona Republic on September 17, 2014, used the above title to discuss a group of potent antibiotics called fluoroquinolones. They are one of the best-selling classes of antibiotics and are used to treat serious infections.
Six fluoroquinolones are approved by the FDA and available commercially: Levaquin®, Cirpro®, Noroxin®, Avelox®, Factive® and the generic Floxacin. The FDA has found the antibiotic labeling to be inconsistent with details of the risk of peripheral neuropathy, or how such damage may potentially be permanent.
In a 2001 study by Dr. Jay Cohen, the following reaction rates were documented in patients: nervous system symptoms in 81 percent, musculoskeletal symptoms in 73 percent, sensory symptoms in 42 percent, cardiovascular symptoms in 36 percent, skin reactions in 29 percent and gastrointestinal symptoms in 18 percent.
Antibiotics are powerful medicines that fight bacterial infections and, when used properly, they definitely save lives. They either kill bacteria or keep them from reproducing. Your body’s natural defenses can usually take it from there.
Although antibiotics are useful for a wide variety of infections, it is important to realize that antibiotics only treat bacterial infections. Antibiotics are useless against viral infections, such as the common cold and fungal infections, such as ringworm. If a virus is making you sick, taking antibiotics may do more harm than good. Each time you take antibiotics, you decrease the chances that bacteria in your body will resist them. Later, you could get or spread an infection that those antibiotics can no longer cure.
Because of their popularity, doctors now prescribe fluoquinolone antibiotics for sinus congestion to urinary-tract infections. “Because they are so powerful in treating bacterial infections, they are the drug of choice for many illnesses when they shouldn’t be,” said Dr. Ray Woosley, founder and president of CredibleMeds®, an Oro Valley-based independent research and education nonprofit that advocates for medication safety.
Today, antibiotics are prescribed far more frequently, so much so that the government cannot keep up with the side effect statistics. This means that it is the responsibility of the patient to research any prescribed drug’s possible side effects.
Following are some suggestions if you become ill and a fluoquinolone antibiotic has been prescribed.
1. Do you truly have a bacterial infection? — Antibiotics cure bacteria and not viruses, such as colds or flu, most coughs and bronchitis, sore throats not caused by strep and runny noses. A culture and sensitivity test can be done on your mucus or throat lining to determine the nature of the infection and the most effective antibiotic if you have a bacterial infection.
2. Is your illness truly serious enough to warrant an antibiotic or could it be treated with natural antibiotic remedies? — Long before pharmaceutical antibiotics, which were developed in the 1940s, certain foods and herbs helped guard against infection and disease. Many of these natural defenders are still in use today by holistic healers around the globe. Some of the natural antibiotic treatments have included garlic, honey, cabbage, grapefruit seed extract, raw apple cider vinegar, extra virgin coconut oil, echinacea, fermented food, ionic silver and oil of oregano.
3. Another antibiotic? — Could a different antibiotic be used to treat your serious bacterial infection without the degree of side effects found with a fluoquinolone?
4. Are you aware of the potential side effects of the antibiotic? — It is the responsibility of each patient to be aware of the side effects. RXList.com is a website that describes the nature of drugs and their respective side effects.
5. Will vitamin C help? — Numerous bacterial infections can be treated with vitamin C. This all-natural antibiotic should be given in high doses in order to be effective. Some illnesses, such as whooping cough, diphtheria, polio and tetanus, may be treated with vitamin C. This natural antibiotic may also help in the treatment of bacterial infections caused by AIDS. Vitamin C plays a crucial role in the formation of white blood cells. For that reason, the immune system is better able to fight bacteria. High-dose vitamin C can be given through intravenous (IV) therapies at doses not possible orally. Vitamin C IVs may be used in conjunction with antibiotics.
6. Ozone and ultraviolet light — Numerous studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of antimicrobial ozone (O3) and ultraviolet light in treating viral, bacterial and other infections. Like vitamin C, ozone and ultraviolet light may also be used in conjunction with antibiotics to increase their effectiveness.
It has been said that the best treatment is great prevention. When it comes to the immune system, this is especially true. Maintaining a strong immune system with diet, exercise, rest and positive attitude helps support the body’s defenses against disease.
For more information on antibiotics and antibiotic research, contact The Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics (APUA) and their partner lab at the Center for Adaptation Genetics and Drug Resistance.
1. Arizona Republic, Can the Cure be Worse Than the Disease, September 17, 2014.
2. Mercola, Joseph, D.O., Antibiotic Alert: The Drug the Doctor Ordered Could Cause Deadly Side Effects, articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/…/fluoroquinolones-side-effects.aspx.
Fred G. Arnold, N.M.D., has more than 20 years of clinical experience and specializes in pain rehabilitation services. He is a Fellow in Anti-Aging & Regenerative Medicine, Diplomate of the American Academy of Health Care Providers, a Fellow of American Academy of Ozonotherapy (FAAOM), and certified in prolotherapy. He is one of the few physicians in the nation with both a naturopathic medical degree and chiropractic degree. prolotherapyphoenix.com or 602-292-2978.
Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 33, Number 6, December 2014/January 2015.