Friday, February 10, 2017


Back in December, I had several stresses at once, including ongoing blepharitis.  Antibiotics I took months earlier had not helped.  My primary doctor offered an alternate antibiotic to start at once.

Got side effects as unpleasant as the disease.  The leaflet said to stop the meds if side effects got worse, but   I didn't stop.  Finally, close to the last dose, the night before my mammo aptmt. my eyes were badly blurring. Worried about driving to mammo the next morning, I left a msg for doctor, and I stopped taking the RX. 

That may have been my first time ever.  All my life we all heard warnings,

 DON'T STOP until all medicine is gone

Yes, everybody said that we should be sure we'd wiped out those little critters; If any were alive, we'd
stay sick or get sicker.

Then, Twitter led me to this:

"Why your doctor’s advice to take all your antibiotics may be wrong"

The old 'take all of it" warning started when penicillin was new;  we had a new "gun,' why not use it to the max.  After all, we don't want any bugs left that might make us sick all over again.

Why are there rumblings now in the medical community, more than whispers that the old "TAKE IT ALL" advice might be dangerous?

The answer: One word we weren't worried about when penicillin came out... now makes change imperative:


Bugs evolve when exposed to an enemy; they can emerge stronger. 

So if we don't need the drug any more, why give the bugs more fuel for their evolving?

Avoiding resistance makes changing medicine instructions critical.

Then I learned this position is not new.

Turns our Dr. Luis Rice of Brown U Alpert medical school has talked openly in recent years about the danger of giving bugs extra time with the enemy medicine.  . But this is no longer one man's theory.

The WHO in a meeting next month will consider changing antibiotic directions to patients and their doctors.  They already have drawn up a report in response to our fight to prevent resistant bugs evolving into something we will no longer be powerless against.

 We are, it seems at the threshold of a world full of immune, uncontrollable bugs.

But, it will be tough to wipe out the generations-old  warning so firmly lodged in our heads.  (Also, the author is brave enough to mention  that drug companies won't help speed change to find out how they can sell fewer pills!)

Before we turn the whole dosing thing upside down, the article discusses many individual situations where continuing a medicine longer has already proven the best course of action.

Dr. Lorri Hicks of the CDC summed up both sides of the situation by e-mail.  The CDC advice site had been sticking to the old warning, But now when we look at "CDC Get Smart About Antibiotics"  one bit of advice has a new ending:

  • "Never skip doses or stop taking an antibiotic early, even if you no longer feel sick, unless your healthcare professional tells you to do so."
I like very much their advice to talk to my MD about bug "resistance".  The time to do that is probably soon, before a new Rx is needed.  And, Heaven forbid, before I have to go to a bossy hospital where someone sees the OLD directions on pills I no longer even take.

Bottom line for me, I'm going to start by resisting refills on antibiotics that already proved they don't work for me.

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