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Antibiotics

Category: Medicines

Type

Involuntary

Introduction and description

 

 

 

An antibiotic is any compound or substance that kills or slows down the growth of bacteria and is intended to be used for patients in order to help treat them for bacterial infection

They do not work with viruses.

There are two types of antibiotics

  • Natural foodstuffs and plants that have anti-bacterial action and which you consume as part of your normal diet or which are taken as teas or similar 'medicines'.  They may also be incorporated in ointments
  • Pharmaceuticals

This section principally describes the pharmaceuticals.  The natural products are in general described in the section on bacterial infection as an illness, however, we have aded a few observations so that you are able to compare the healing power of food as opposed to the hallucinatory power of man-made pharmaceuticals!

Background

 

In general, most pharmaceutical antibiotics are modifications of various naturally occurring compounds.

These include, for example, the beta-lactam antibacterials, which include the penicillins (produced by fungi in the genus Penicillium), the cephalosporins, and the carbapenems.

Many antibiotics are based on fungi. 

The antagonistic activities by fungi against bacteria were first described in England by John Tyndall in 1875, but it was Paul Ehrlich in Germany in the late 1880s, who proposed the idea that it might be possible to create chemicals that would act as a selective drug that would bind to and kill bacteria without harming the human host.

In 1928, Alexander Fleming observed the antibiotic action of a fungus against bacteria by a fungus of the genus Penicillium.  In 1939, Rene Dubos reported discovery of the first naturally derived antibiotic, gramicidin from B. brevis. It was one of the first commercially manufactured antibiotics in use during World War II to prove highly effective in treating wounds and ulcers.

 

Most antibiotics work by targeting bacterial functions or growth processes. For example they may

  • Target the bacterial cell wall (such as penicillins and cephalosporins)
  • Target the cell membrane (for example, polymixins)
  • Interfere with essential bacterial enzymes (such as quinolones and sulfonamides)
  • Target protein synthesis -  such as the aminoglycosides, macrolides, and tetracyclines

 "Narrow-spectrum" antibacterial antibiotics target specific types of bacteria, such as Gram-negative or Gram-positive bacteria, whereas broad-spectrum antibiotics affect a wide range of bacteria.

They are not without their side effects. 

 

Adverse effects range from fever and nausea to major allergic reactions.   A common side effect is diarrhoea, resulting from disruption of the species composition in the intestinal flora, resulting, for example, in overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria, such as Clostridium difficile.  

Antibacterials can also affect the vaginal flora, and may lead to overgrowth of yeast species of the genus Candida in the vulvo-vaginal area.

Additional side effects can result from interaction with other drugs. 

There is also a problem with alcohol.  Interactions between alcohol and certain antibiotics are known to occur and may cause side effects and decreased effectiveness of antibacterial therapy.

It is sensible to avoid drinking alcohol when taking medication. However, it is unlikely that drinking alcohol in moderation will cause problems if you are taking most common antibiotics. However, there are specific types of antibiotics with which alcohol should be avoided completely, because of serious side effects.

 

I think we are well aware that another problem with antibiotics is that the bacteria fight back!  The emergence of resistance of bacteria to antibiotics is a common phenomenon and has in part been caused by inadvised prescription and use – overuse and mis-use.

Mis-use and overuse is exacerbated by the failure of medical professionals to prescribe the correct dosage of antibacterials on the basis of the patient's weight and history of prior use. Other forms of misuse include failure to take the entire prescribed course of the antibacterial.

Given that antibiotics are prescribed by doctors, in this we have doctors to blame.

The first rule of antibiotics is try not to use them, and the second rule is try not to use too many of them —Paul L. Marino, The ICU Book

 

Many antibiotics are prescribed to treat symptoms or diseases that do not respond to antibiotic therapy or are likely to resolve without treatment. 

The overuse of antibiotics, like penicillin and erythromycin, have been associated with emerging antibiotic resistance since the 1950s.

Widespread usage of antibiotic drugs in hospitals has also been associated with increases in bacterial strains and species that no longer respond to treatment with the most common antibiotics.

 

Antibacterials such as penicillin and erythromycin, which used to have high efficacy against many bacterial species and strains, have become less effective, because of the increased resistance of many bacterial strains. 

Antibacterial-resistant strains and species, sometimes referred to as "superbugs", now contribute to the emergence of diseases which were for a while well-controlled. For example, emergent bacterial strains causing tuberculosis (TB) that are resistant to previously effective antibacterial treatments “pose many therapeutic challenges”.

 

But it is not just the doctors who are to blame.  Antibiotics are used in farming, both as ‘growth promoters’ and as 'preventative treatment' in intensive animal rearing.  They are a poor solution to bad farming practise and the result can be tainted meat and new resistant strains of bacteria. 

The EU has banned the use of antibacterials as growth-promotional agents since 2003.  But the USA, despite calls for restrictions on antibiotic use in food animal production and an end to all nontherapeutic uses, continues to use them.  More than 70% of the antibiotics used in the U.S. are given to livestock animals in the absence of infectious diseases. This practice has been associated with the emergence of antibacterial-resistant strains of bacteria, including Salmonella spp., Campylobacter spp., Escherichia coli, and Enterococcus spp.

 
 

 One of the rather fascinating statistics to emerge from studies in the USA is that there is a direct connection with the inadvisable use of antibiotics and obesity. 

Farmers use antibiotics to promote weight gain in their animals, as such it is hardly surprising that antibiotics do the same in children. 

 

Dr Martin Blaser is among an international group of physicians and scientists working on one of the most promising fields in medicine and microbiology – the Human Microbiome Project - and he has produced these two maps, to provide food for thought.

 

 

 

 

 

How it works

 

The pharmaceutical antibiotics are known to produce spiritual experiences, mostly hallucinations, but given the complications of their use – the inadvisable use, the over use, the misuse, it makes finding the actual cause of the hallucinations very difficult.

 All of these can result in knock on effects which may in the end be the reason that the hallucinations are being obtained.  For example, if the person does not finish the prescribed course, they may be left with a fever or illness which in the final analysis is the real reason for the hallucinations.  Alternatively the antibiotic may start destroying the natural bacteria in our systems that prevent disease and we end up getting hallucinations from these diseases.

But there is a quite substantial body of evidence that shows that antibiotics can also acts as toxins.  If a patient takes or is prescribed the anti-biotics for no good reason or for an illness which does not respond to the antibiotics, then the antibiotics may act as a toxin and produce delirium.  In effect, when given to a person without bacterial infection you are giving them a deleriant! For evidence of this we need to look at nephritis. 

Nephritis is inflammation of the nephrons in the kidneys. It is often caused by infections, toxins, and auto-immune diseases.  We saw that most antibiotics work by targeting bacterial functions or growth processes, but if these are not present in our body, they may start to target the cells of the body, particularly those of the kidneys. For example they may

  • Target the cell wall (such as penicillins and cephalosporins)
  • Target the cell membrane (for example, polymixins)
  • Interfere with essential bacterial enzymes (such as quinolones and sulfonamides)
  • Target protein synthesis -  such as the aminoglycosides, macrolides, and tetracyclines

Nephritis is the most common producer of glomerular injury. This can lead to reduced glomerular blood flow, leading to reduced urine output and retention of waste products (uremia).  It is a serious medical condition which is the ninth highest cause of human death. As the kidneys inflame, they begin to excrete needed protein from the body into the urine stream. Loss of necessary protein due to nephritis can result in several life-threatening symptoms. Most dangerous in cases of nephritis is the loss of protein that keeps blood from clotting. This can result in blood clots causing sudden stroke.

There is a proven link between amoxicillin and nephritis and it has been shown to be linked to any drug in the penicillin class [see observations]

Acute interstitial nephritis due to amoxicillin therapy - Appel GB Garvey G, Silva F, Francke E, Neu HC, Weissman J.
Acute interstitial nephritis (AIN) has been reported in association with therapy with a number of drugs. We report a patient who developed drug-related AIN while receiving intravenous amoxicillin therapy. The patient developed rash, secondary temperature elevation, and eosinophilia in association with nonoliguric renal failure. Renal biopsy showed evidence for AIN and the renal failure was responsive to corticosteroid therapy.
AIN may occur in patients receiving any drug of the penicillin class. This reversible form of acute renal failure must not be overlooked in patients with other forms of renal disease.

And there seems to be a link with quite a number of antibiotics at a more general level.

So if we follow the chain, a person goes to a doctor with an infection that is actually not treatable with antibiotics, in some cases this person is a child, whose parents are understandably worried but not in any position to know the best course of treatment.  Instead of the doctor saying, ‘there is no treatment for this, it is a viral infection’, they prescribe an antibiotic to ‘keep the parents happy’.  The child takes the antibiotics and eventually gets better on its own, but meanwhile the antibiotics are acting as a toxin and causing kidney damage, which may only surface later in life.  Occasionally the damage done is severe enough to show up fairly quickly and cause the hallucinations normal with being poisoned!

A case of acute renal failure in a patient recently treated with clozapine and a review of previously reported cases - Kanofsky JD, Woesner ME, Harris AZ, Kelleher JP, Gittens K, Jerschow E.
Clozapine has been reported to cause acute renal failure due to acute interstitial nephritis. We discuss a case of clozapine-induced acute renal failure and compare it to 7 other cases reported in the literature. We review the signs and symptoms of the hypersensitivity response, such as fever and eosinophilia, caused by clozapine and make recommendations for early detection.  Early detection and prompt discontinuation of clozapine can prevent renal damage, as can the avoidance of other nephrotoxic drugs like antibiotics.

So to sum up – the cause is poisoning

References and further reading

It is also imperative that you read the section on Bacteriophage in the science section.  In brief this section explains that there are a number of bacteria that appear to cause disease, but they are simply playing hosts to small viruses called phages which are the real culprits.  As many phages, once they haveentered the body, are caopable of surviving without the bacteria they used as the Trojan horse, giving anyone an antiobiotic is not only useless, it may well make things worse.

 

Observations

I have provided a description of the drugs within this category, but also some examples of the circumstances under which hallucinations were experienced.  The figures of the number of hallucinations reported as at 2010 come from the eHealthme web site.  In some cases the observation itself has more recent figures.  A link has been provided for each drug to enable you to see all the side-effects.

There may be many more antibiotics than this that produce much the same reactions, for the same reasons, that are not on the eHealthme web site, but it should now be clear what they do and why.

As can be seen from the chart and its total they caused around 2,000 cases of hallucination in the USA alone 


Observation identifiers

Observation name

Number of hallucinations

001135

Amoxicillin and nephritis

1

001136

Azithromycin

74

001137

Amoxicillin

71

 

Augmentin

128

 

Trimox

33

001138

Clarithromycin

83

 

Biaxin

145

001139

Co-trimoxazole

128

 

Bactrim

176

 

Cotrim

127

 

Sulfatrim

62

001140

Ciprofloxacin

60

001141

Isoniazid

24

 

Rimifon

33

001142

Levaquin

81

 

Levofloxacin

6

001143

Metronidazole

72

 

Flagyl

74

001144

Moxifloxacin

52

 

Avelox

52

001145

Adriamycin

33

 

Doxorubicin

27

 

Doxil

33

001146

Cefalexin

32

 

Keflex

18

001147

Clindamycin

12

 

Cleocin

24

001148

Doxycycline

44

 

Doryx

26

001149

Rifater

16

 

Erythromycin

14

 

Tobramycin

10

 

Vancomycin

9

 

Vibramycin

5

 

Gentamicin

4

 

Linezolid

14

 

Ampicillin

2

 

Nafcillin

1

 

Penicillin

10

 

Piperacillin also called Maxitaz,  Kilbac, Tazocin and Zosyn

5

 

Cefadroxil

4

 

Cefazolin

21

 

Cefotaxime

8

 

Ceftazidime

8

 

Ceftin

4

 

Ceftriaxone alternative name Rocephin

19

 

Cefuroxime

3

 

Cefuroxime Axetil

3

 

Cefzil

2

 

Gatifloxacin

14

 

Norfloxacin

10

 

Ofloxacin also known as Floxin [13]

19

 

TOTAL

1936

The figures for deaths caused by each drug is as follows, again from eHealthme, please note that Levaquin has a particulalry high death rate for children, as such I have added this figure.  This does not mean it is the only antibiotic causing deaths in children, please refer to the eHealthme website

  • On Mar, 22, 2015: 22,279 people reported to have side effects when taking Amoxicillin. Among them, 331 people (1.49%) have Death.
  • On Mar, 18, 2015: 10,949 people reported to have side effects when taking Azithromycin. Among them, 212 people (1.94%) have Death
  • On Mar, 26, 2015: 12,681 people reported to have side effects when taking Clarithromycin. Among them, 122 people (0.96%) have Death.
  • On Mar, 16, 2015: 28,170 people reported to have side effects when taking Bactrim. Among them, 536 people (1.90%) have Death.
  • On Apr, 15, 2015: 590 people reported to have side effects when taking Ciprofloxacin. Among them, 7 people (1.19%) have Death
  • On Apr, 7, 2015: 7,418 people reported to have side effects when taking Isoniazid. Among them, 116 people (1.56%) have Death
  • On Apr, 7, 2015: 27,853 people reported to have side effects when taking Levaquin. Among them, 719 people (2.58%) have Death
  • On Apr, 15, 2015: 27,853 people reported to have side effects when taking Levaquin. Among them, 698 people (2.51%) have Death Of Child.
  • On Apr, 6, 2015: 9,852 people reported to have side effects when taking Flagyl. Among them, 232 people (2.35%) have Death
  • On Mar, 20, 2015: 20,150 people reported to have side effects when taking Avelox. Among them, 330 people (1.64%) have Death.
  • On Mar, 20, 2015: 3,541 people reported to have side effects when taking Doxil. Among them, 187 people (5.28%) have Death
  • On Apr, 13, 2015: 5,490 people reported to have side effects when taking Keflex. Among them, 153 people (2.79%) have Death
  • On Apr, 15, 2015: 1,527 people reported to have side effects when taking Cleocin. Among them, 29 people (1.90%) have Death
  • On Mar, 26, 2015: 545 people reported to have side effects when taking Rifater. Among them, 7 people (1.28%) have Death
  • On Apr, 10, 2015: 5,887 people reported to have side effects when taking Cefazolin. Among them, 232 people (3.94%) have Death
  • On Mar, 22, 2015: 18,850 people reported to have side effects when taking Augmentin. Among them, 388 people (2.06%) have Death.
  • On Apr, 15, 2015: 735 people reported to have side effects when taking Trimox. Among them, 8 people (1.09%) have Death
  • On Apr, 15, 2015: 9,489 people reported to have side effects when taking Biaxin. Among them, 115 people (1.21%) have Death.
  • On Mar, 17, 2015: 5,861 people reported to have side effects when taking Cotrim. Among them, 137 people (2.34%) have Death
  • On Apr, 8, 2015: 382 people reported to have side effects when taking Sulfatrim. Among them, 3 people (0.79%) have Death
  • On Apr, 15, 2015: 550 people reported to have side effects when taking Rimifon. Among them, 8 people (1.45%) have Death
  • On Mar, 31, 2015: 5,449 people reported to have side effects when taking Levofloxacin. Among them, 63 people (1.16%) have Death
  • On Mar, 31, 2015: 13,079 people reported to have side effects when taking Metronidazole. Among them, 261 people (2.00%) have Death
  • On Apr, 15, 2015: 13,079 people reported to have side effects when taking Metronidazole. Among them, 259 people (1.98%) have Death Of Child.
  • On Mar, 16, 2015: 6,603 people reported to have side effects when taking Adriamycin pfs. Among them, 221 people (3.35%) have Death
  • On Apr, 15, 2015: 4,363 people reported to have side effects when taking Doxorubicin hydrochloride. Among them, 92 people (2.11%) have Death
  • On Mar, 20, 2015: 1,128 people reported to have side effects when taking Clindamycin hydrochloride. Among them, 8 people (0.71%) have Death.
  • On Mar, 29, 2015: 12,090 people reported to have side effects when taking Doxycycline. Among them, 194 people (1.60%) have Death
  • On Apr, 14, 2015: 436 people reported to have side effects when taking Doryx. Among them, 3 people (0.69%) have Death.
  • On Apr, 13, 2015: 1,438 people reported to have side effects when taking Erythromycin. Among them, 11 people (0.76%) have Death
  • On Apr, 15, 2015: 106 people reported to have side effects when taking Tobramycin. Among them, 3 people (2.83%) have Death.
  • On Apr, 15, 2015: 2,164 people reported to have side effects when taking Vancomycin hcl. Among them, 67 people (3.10%) have Death.
  • On Mar, 26, 2015: 1,438 people reported to have side effects when taking Penicillin. Among them, 4 people (0.28%) have Death
  • On Mar, 22, 2015: 1,438 people reported to have side effects when taking Penicillin. Among them, 4 people (0.28%) have Death Of Child.
  • On Apr, 15, 2015: 3,270 people reported to have side effects when taking Ofloxacin. Among them, 29 people (0.89%) have Death
  • On Apr, 13, 2015: 1,106 people reported to have side effects when taking Norfloxacin. Among them, 29 people (2.62%) have Death
  • On Apr, 1, 2015: 1,374 people reported to have side effects when taking Gatifloxacin. Among them, 15 people (1.09%) have Death
  • On Apr, 7, 2015: 10,918 people reported to have side effects when taking Rocephin. Among them, 255 people (2.34%) have Death
  • On Apr, 7, 2015: 2,022 people reported to have side effects when taking Linezolid. Among them, 86 people (4.25%) have Death

 The other antibiotics have also caused deaths, but these are the major ones.  Altogether about 5,500 deaths have been caused by antibiotics.  

Related observations