Study reveals reactions to antibiotics land nearly 70,000 children in the ER

Bad reactions to antibiotics send nearly 70,000 children to the emergency room a year, new research reveals.

Few drugs are prescribed more often than antibiotics, which treat many bacterial infections.

Children are particularly susceptible to these infections, but even more so to viral infections.

Doctors write some 74 million antibiotic prescriptions a year, the latest data reveals – and many of them are likely useless against illnesses that are actually caused by viruses.

And the medications make tens of thousands of those kids sick in a different way, according to the analysis of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Humans in general, and Americans in particular, take too many drugs.

It’s not just the opioid epidemic that poses dangers to our health; in fact, taking too many antibiotics to help us fight of infections may be doing the greatest harm of all.

Antibiotic over-prescribing is setting the stage for the next plague-level pandemic, public health experts have warned.

Humans are rapidly becoming resistant to every antibiotic, meaning that the bacteria the drugs are intended to fight have been exposed to the medicines and evolved to outsmart them.

And the youngest children are likely the ones that doctors over-prescribe to the most.

Children under two have less developed immune systems, so they tend to get sick more often than older children and adults do.

Being new parents, their mothers and fathers may also be more likely to be anxious about their children’s health, which likely adds to the expectation pressure on physicians to send them home with a medication.

-Dailymail

Study Shows Long-term antibiotics increase women’s risk of death by 27%

Antibiotics increase women’s risk of an early death from heart disease by inflicting irreparable damage on their gut lining, new research warns.

Those who are prescribed a dose that spans two months or more are 58 percent more likely to succumb to terminal heart issues, the study found.

In fact, their risk of premature death from all causes bumps up 27 percent.

The findings come a month after the FDA warned people against a particularly common antibiotic sold under the brand name Biaxin – which is used to treat many skin, ear, sinus and lung infections – for its link to potentially fatal heart issues.

The study is one of the first to quantify how much antibiotics affect the gut lining and heart health.

While previous studies have found antibiotic use is associated with long-lasting changes to gut microbiota, no study had examined how significant this damage would be for relatively healthy people.

‘Gut microbiota alterations have been associated with a variety of life-threatening disorders, such as cardiovascular diseases and certain types of cancer,’ said lead author Dr Lu Qi, professor of epidemiology at Tulane University.

‘Antibiotic exposure affects balance and composition of the gut microbiome, even after one stops taking antibiotics.

‘So, it is important to better understand how taking antibiotics might impact risks for chronic diseases and death.’

In a collaborative study with Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Qi led a team studying 37,510 women over the age of 60 who did not have heart disease or cancer at the start of the program, which spanned from 2004 until summer 2012.

Assessing each woman’s antibiotic use, they put them into four groups – not at all; fewer than 15 days; between 15 days and two months; or two or more months.

By the end, they found a clear correlation between antibiotic use and premature death risk, particularly if the course was longer.

This was true even after accounting for other factors such as diet, obesity, other medications and lifestyle.

The women who took antibiotics for two months or longer were 27 percent more likely to die from any cause, except cancer, than those who took no antibiotics at all.

In particular, a prescription for longer than two months increased risk of death from heart disease by 58 percent.

Death risk was higher still if these women had a history of antibiotic use in their middle age too.

‘Although we observed a notable association between long-term antibiotic use and risk of death, it isn’t yet clear whether long-term antibiotic use is the specific cause of the association,’ Dr Qi said.

‘For example, women who reported antibiotic use might be sicker in other unmeasured ways.

‘These results, however, contribute to a better understanding of risk factors for all-cause and cardiovascular death.

‘We now have good evidence that people who take antibiotics for long periods during adulthood may be a high-risk group to target for risk-factor modification to prevent heart disease and death.’

-Dailymail

The world is running out of antibiotics – health leaders warn

The world is running out of antibiotics, global health leaders have warned.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said that ‘antimicrobial resistance is a global health emergency’.

Growing resistance to drugs that fight infections could ‘seriously jeopardise’ progress made in modern medicine, the head of WHO said.

The remarks come after a new WHO report found a serious lack of new drugs in development to combat the growing threat of antibiotic resistance.

Health experts have previously warned that resistance to antimicrobial drugs could cause a bigger threat to mankind than cancer.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said that 'antimicrobial resistance is a global health emergency'

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said that ‘antimicrobial resistance is a global health emergency’

In recent years, there has been a UK drive to raise global awareness of the threat posed to modern medicine by antimicrobial resistance.

If antibiotics lose their effectiveness, then key medical procedures – including gut surgery, caesarean sections, joint replacements and chemotherapy – could become too dangerous to perform.

Around 700,000 people around the world die annually due to drug-resistant infections including drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB), HIV and malaria.

If no action is taken, it has been estimated that drug-resistant infections will kill 10 million people a year by 2050.

The WHO previously drew up a list of antibiotic-resistant infections posing the greatest threat to health.

It has now examined new drugs in the development pipeline.

The new WHO report found few potential treatment options for those antibiotic-resistant infections – including drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) which kills around 250,000 people each year.

There is also a lack of treatment options for gram-negative pathogens, including Acinetobacter and Enterobacteriaceae, such as Klebsiella and E.coli – which can cause deadly infections and pose a particular threat in hospitals and nursing homes, WHO said.

Meanwhile there are very few oral antibiotics for infections caused by gram-negative pathogens in the pipeline, even though such drugs are essential for treating infections outside hospitals.

The authors of the report identified 51 new antibiotics and biologicals in clinical development. But the WHO said that only eight of these are deemed to be innovative treatments that will add value to the current antibiotic treatment arsenal.

Most drugs in development are modifications of existing antibiotics, which are ‘only short-term solutions’, the authors said.

‘The current clinical pipeline is still insufficient to mitigate the threat of antimicrobial resistance,’ they added.

The authors called for more investment in basic science, drug discovery and clinical development.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of WHO, said: ‘Antimicrobial resistance is a global health emergency that will seriously jeopardize progress in modern medicine.

Health experts have previously warned that resistance to antimicrobial drugs could cause a bigger threat to mankind than cancer

Health experts have previously warned that resistance to antimicrobial drugs could cause a bigger threat to mankind than cancer

‘There is an urgent need for more investment in research and development for antibiotic-resistant infections including TB, otherwise we will be forced back to a time when people feared common infections and risked their lives from minor surgery.’

Dr Suzanne Hill, director of the department of essential medicines at WHO, added: ‘Pharmaceutical companies and researchers must urgently focus on new antibiotics against certain types of extremely serious infections that can kill patients in a matter of days because we have no line of defence.’

WHO said that new treatments alone will not be enough to combat the threat of antimicrobial resistance.

Read more: dailymail

8 year old girl suggests a cancer treatment

Camilla Lisanti an 8 year old girl suggested using antibiotics to cure cancer, after she was asked by her dad how she would cure cancer.

Her parents, a husband-wife cancer research team were sceptical at first but tested out her theory in their Manchester University lab. And to their surprise, several cheap and widely-used antibiotics killed the most dangerous cancer cells.

The antibiotics fought seven of the most common cancers – including breast, prostate, lung and hard-to-treat brain tumours.
One antibiotic, doxycycline, is widely used to treat acne and is thought to be particularly promising.

Camilla’s parents showed that cancer stem cells – the deadly ‘mother cells’ that give birth to tumours, keep them alive and ease their spread around the body – have particularly high numbers of mitochondria.

They also showed that four common antibiotics killed these stem cells in samples taken from breast, prostate, lung, ovarian, pancreatic, skin and brain cancers. Importantly, healthy cells were not harmed.

The experiments on cells in a dish suggest that antibiotics could be used to stop cancer in its tracks and prevent it from spreading through the body – the main way it kills.

Professor Lisanti says that antibiotics could prove to be an inexpensive and safe one-size-fits-all treatment for cancer.