If you thought antibiotic resistance or destruction of intestinal bacteria votes were enough reasons to avoid using antibiotics , you’re right. But if you are still sitting on the fence when it comes to using these widely prescribed drugs, add side effects of delirium and other brain disorders to the list of reasons to avoid them.
Researchers reviewing mountains of scientific data found hundreds of cases in which patients developed delirium and other brain problems after receiving common antibiotics. In the elderly, delirium is particularly severe, with a higher rate of complications for recovery.
Researchers at the School of Medicine at Harvard and Brigham and Women reviewed seven decades of medical reports and found case studies of 391 patients who developed delirium and other brain problems after being administered antibiotics . The problem seems to have been widespread with 54 kinds of antibiotics from 12 classes involved .
Antibiotics used in studies of patients included intravenous types, such as penicillin, as well as commonly provided orally, including sulfonamides and Ciprofloxacin . Patients ranged in neurological reaction.
Almost half, or about 47 percent, had hallucinations or delusions , reportedly 14 percent had seizures, 15 percent showed muscle spasms and 5 percent lost some degree of control over their movements. The researchers also noted that 70 percent of the cases had abnormal EEG (electroencephalogram) tests.
Once antibiotic treatment stopped, the symptoms of the brain disorder also stopped. Findings of the review were published in the online edition of the medical journal neurology .
Delirium and brain-related disorders due to drugs, such as common antibiotics can cause serious complications, particularly in the elderly. The condition causes mental confusion, with patients sometimes also seeing hallucinations. Often they are shaken.
While medications are often the cause of delirium, antibiotics are not usually the first medical medication may suspect. The results of this latest scientific review shows that doctors should take a closer look to antibiotics as the cause.
Elderly patients experience delirium during treatment are more likely to go to the hospital to a care facility rather than returning to their homes. The mortality rate also increases for these patients.
The likely link between the use of antibiotics and the emergence of delirium and other brain disorders is just one more in a long list of side effects of antibiotics and reasons to avoid the use of antibiotics whenever possible, either by seeking alternative treatment options or health protection to reduce the risk of infection in the first place.
In the elderly, the ill effects can be magnified and may include a weakened immune system, mineral deficiency, nutrient loss and fatigue, in addition to brain disorders and other symptoms mentioned above.
There are a number of alternatives to the use of antibiotics, many of them useful in preventive care. Vitamin C, essential oils, probiotics, and umeboshi plum (or pasta) are just some of the natural ways to neutralize a threat from bacteria or virus and reduce the need for toxic drugs.
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