The FDA has issued black box warnings for the following antibiotics: Cipro, Levaquin, and Floxin, part of the category of antibiotics known as fluoroquinolones, commonly prescribed for urinary and respiratory infections. More than 23 million people in America were prescribed these drugs in 2011.
Though warnings about the possible side effects of taking fluoroquinolones have been in place since 2004, the FDA has recently decided to strengthen these warnings as they were found to be inadequate.
Some of the patients who were prescribed these antibiotics developed peripheral neuropathy within a few days of starting to take the medication. For some patients, it only lasted a short time and for others it was permanent. Peripheral neuropathy is numbness and pain in the arms and legs that can also affect internal organs.
It should be noted that these only affect patients who take fluoroquinolones orally or via injection. Having fluoroquinolones administered via eye or ear drops does not seem to cause any peripheral neuropathy. However, if you are taking any of the antibiotics above and develop any of the above symptoms, tell your doctor immediately and stop taking the antibiotics, they will likely prescribe another one in its place.
Before you panic, fluoroquinolones are commonly prescribed as the antibiotic of “last resort” when all other medication, such as the traditional penicillin, has failed.
There are natural methods you can use to fight an infection. However, if it is a major infection, you should follow your doctor’s advice and use the prescribed antibiotics:
1. Let your body take care of the infection: Often, the best thing you can do is just grin and bear it and let your body fight the infection. Be sure to get plenty of rest and fluids. While it makes for an unpleasant few days, your immune system will usually take care of the infection on its own. But, if you have a weakened immune system, you should still see a doctor.
2. Exercise: Though you may not feel like exercising when you’re fighting an infection, doing so can stimulate both your energy and your immune system.
3. Sunshine: While this may not be feasible during the winter, even sitting by a window on a sunny day when you have an infection can boost your body’s level of vitamin D, a natural immune system booster. If you can’t go outside, see about picking up vitamin D3 supplements.
4. Antimicrobial foods: You may not feel like eating when you’re fighting an infection but eating or drinking coconut-based food, raw, unpasteurized honey and vegetables such as garlic and onions can assist in beating the infection thanks to their natural bacteria killing abilities.
5. Visit a chiropractor: When you’re stressed, it affects your nerves which in turn weakens your immune system. A visit to your chiropractor takes the stress off your nerves and boosts your immunity.
If you’re fighting an infection, you should also consider adding fermented foods such as cultured vegetables as well as raw pickles and sauerkraut. Eating these items provides an excellent source of probiotics.
Source(s) for Today’s Article:
Hunter, B., “Natural News Blog, New FDA Warning: Certain Antibiotics Linked to Serious Nerve Damage,” Natural News.com, August 28, 2013; http://blogs.naturalnews.com/new-fda-warning-certain-antibiotics-linked-to-serious-nerve-damage/, last accessed September 4, 2013.
Miller, K., “Some Antibiotics Linked to Serious Nerve Damage,” WebMD Health News, August 27, 2013; http://www.webmd.com/brain/news/20130826/fda-strengthens-fluoroquinolone-warning, last accessed September 4, 2013.