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Infection? You probably don’t need this antibiotic

Docs with a new drug are like kids with a shiny new toy.

Instructions? Who needs ‘em! They’ll tear open the package and wing it as they go.

With kids, the worst that can happen is you get a broken toy. But when docs pull this act, you get broken people.

Patients are hurt — and lives ruined — by the rush to put everyone on the latest and greatest new meds, and it’s gotten so bad that the FDA has had to give docs a public spanking over the issue.

This is a rare reprimand from the agency — and an even rarer acknowledgement that mainstream medicine on the whole has screwed up big.

Fluoroquinolones ain’t exactly gummy bears. They’re big-time drugs for big-time diseases, like the ciprofloxacin (a.k.a. Cipro) everyone was stocking up on during the anthrax scare.

Big-time drugs come with big-time risks, yet docs are giving them out for conditions that are small potatoes, including run-of-the-mill UTIs and respiratory infections (many of which are viral and shouldn’t get antibiotics anyway).

That’s exposed millions of Americans to potentially devastating side effects, including a few your own doc may not even be aware of because — like that kid with a new toy — he’s never even bothered to look at the instructions.

These drugs can cause extremely painful and in some cases permanent nerve damage in the form of a condition called peripheral neuropathy. They’ve also been linked to acute liver injury and tendon ruptures, and a study last year found they can DOUBLE your risk of an aortic aneurism.

That’s a bulge in your aorta, the main artery that carries blood from your heart, and it can lead to a stroke or even burst and kill you on the spot.

Unfortunately, I don’t expect that the FDA warning will change much.

The agency has already urged docs to stop messing around with these meds… and they’ve been ignored by the very companies they’re supposed to regulate.

The inmates are running the asylum!

Best you can do is make sure you don’t take these drugs yourself unless there’s an absolute certainty that you need them.

If you’ve got anthrax, then go ahead and grab that Cipro.

Everything else? Ask questions… and get a second (and even third) opinion, because common infections such as UTIs and respiratory illnesses usually have much safer and far more effective natural solutions.

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