Warning for Those on This Antibiotic

By , Category : Heart Health

Disclaimer: Results are not guaranteed*** and may vary from person to person***.

—by Cate Stevenson, BA

A new study has found that seniors who take a common antibiotic combination for urinary tract infections are at increased risk of developing potentially life-threatening high potassium levels. Researchers examined the medical records of 300,000 older adults who were taking heart drugs known as beta blockers. Of those, 189 patients had to be hospitalized because their potassium levels reached dangerously high levels. This occurred after they took antibiotics to treat urinary tract infections.

The patients who were most likely to develop the hazardous potassium levels, known as “hyperkalemia,” took the widely prescribed antibiotic TMP-SMX. The researchers explained that hyperkalemia is a potentially deadly adverse drug reaction. TMP-SMX can decrease your kidney’s ability to remove potassium from your body. And since potassium plays a key role in regulating heartbeat, abnormally high levels of potassium can cause fatal disturbances in the heart rhythm.

The risk of severe hyperkalemia was five times higher in patients prescribed TMP-SMX compared to those prescribed amoxicillin — another popular antibiotic used to treat simple bladder infections. The research team suggests that doctors may be able to help patients lower their risk by doing blood testing to monitor their potassium levels.

Searching for an alternative to antibiotics? Why not try cranberry? Cranberries have a time-honored reputation for fighting urinary tract infections. If you’re like most people, however, it’s likely cranberries aren’t often on your radar when you’re out doing the weekly grocery shopping. Most people are more likely to pick up some raspberries or strawberries from the produce section. This is too bad, because eating cranberries (or drinking cranberry juice) can have a number of other health benefits, along with to the reduction or prevention of urinary tract infection. It seems the proanthocyanidins in cranberries could inhibit bacteria from attaching to the wall of the urinary tract. This limits the bacteria’s ability to produce colonies and spread infection.

Goldenseal is another option. It contains a special compound called “berberine” that can help to kill many types of bacteria, including the ones that cause urinary tract infections. Berberine has also been shown to kill Candida (yeast) infections, viruses, and various parasites such as tapeworms. Researchers think that berberine may help to activate white blood cells, making them more effective at fighting infection and strengthening your immune system.

Sign up for the latest health news, tips and special product offers with our daily Free e-Letters, the Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin and the Health eTalk with the Bel Marra Doctors.

Opt-in by entering your e-mail address below and clicking submit. Your e-mail will never be shared, sold or rented to anyone for promotional or advertising purposes, and you can unsubscribe easily at any time.

Yes, I’m opting in for the FREE Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin and
Health eTalk with the Bel Marra Doctors:

About the Author, Browse 's Articles

Doctors Health Press publishes daily health articles and monthly health newsletters for a wide array of alternative and natural health topics like healing foods, homeopathic medicine, traditional Chinese medicine, hidden cures for common illnesses, and natural self-healing. Doctors Health Press also publishes books and reports that provide timely health breakthroughs, always focusing on natural and alternative health. Topics include omega health, prostate health, natural weight loss, natural diabetes cures, heart health, stroke prevention, secret herbal cures, vision health, anti-aging, sexual... Read Full Bio »