Never touch antibiotics for these four wintertime illnesses

With the way colds and sinus infections are going around, lots of our homes are feeling like hospital wards these days.

There’s practically been a run on Kleenex and chicken soup at the supermarket!

And if you head to your typical mainstream doctor’s office, there’s a good chance you could leave with a prescription for antibiotics — and for trouble.

Even our government is admitting that half of antibiotic prescriptions written today are totally useless.

And now a new report is warning that taking antibiotics for four common wintertime illnesses could send you right from your sick bed to your death bed.

When ‘safe’ becomes sorry
Chris Dannelly was just 41 years old when he got a prescription for the antibiotic Levaquin for cold and flu symptoms.

And this father of two was dead before he knew what hit him.

According to his wife, the autopsy revealed that it took just two pills for the Georgia man to develop a fatal reaction to the drug that broke down his muscles and poisoned his blood.

I’ve been warning you for years about the dangers of doctors over-prescribing antibiotics, and how they can cause everything from serious side effects to drug-resistant superbugs.

In fact, these same pills that doctors hand out like free pens send 100,000 people a year to the ER.

And you know the problem has gotten bad when even the CDC and the American College of Physicians — two groups that practically never met a drug they wouldn’t push — start admitting there’s a problem.

Both the CDC and ACP just published a guidance in the Annals of Internal Medicine practically begging doctors to stop prescribing antibiotics for conditions they were never meant to treat.

“We’ve known for 20 years or more that most upper respiratory infections are caused by viruses, not bacteria,” said Dr. Wayne Riley, president of the ACP. But that doesn’t seem to be stopping docs from whipping out the Rx pad anyway.

And too often, you could end up leaving your doctor’s office with a prescription that won’t help you and could put you right in harm’s way.

For example, drug-resistant C.diff infections, which are caused by antibiotics, are becoming more and more common, said Dr. Riley. And considering that C.diff is killing around 30,000 Americans every year, this isn’t something that doctors can ignore any longer.

Unfortunately, especially this time of year, it can be easy to end up with an antibiotic prescription you don’t need. That’s because we’re all coming down with colds and sniffles, and too many docs think they’re “playing it safe” by giving you drugs.

But in lots of cases, when they play it safe, you end up sorry. That’s why the CDC and ACP are warning that you’re better off skipping antibiotics for these four wintertime conditions that usually go away on their own:

  1. The common cold: Sure, you may feel really sick, but an antibiotic isn’t going to help you get better one minute faster. (Try taking some immune-boosting supplements such as zinc and elderberry.)
  2. Routine bronchitis Unless your doctor suspects that you may have pneumonia, there’s no reason to take antibiotics for bronchitis. Research has found that antibiotics are almost never helpful for bronchitis, and may be more likely to cause serious complications.
  3. A sore throat: The CDC and ACP are advising docs that they need a confirmed diagnosis of strep throat before they hand out antibiotics. But many prescribe the meds first, before they have any evidence of strep.
  4. A simple sinus infection: “Uncomplicated” sinus infections also will usually go away on their own without resorting to antibiotics, even if they were caused by bacteria. Unless you have a high fever or facial pain and discharge from your nose lasting over three days, there’s no reason for antibiotics, researchers said.

Of course, there are times when taking an antibiotic is absolutely necessary. And that’s when you need to remember that these meds destroy your healthy gut bacteria right along with the bugs that are making you sick.

That’s why you should always take a quality probiotic supplement along with your antibiotics (and well past the time you’re finished taking the drugs).

Just remember to space the probiotic and the antibiotic apart by at least two hours. That way you reduce the chance that the drug will also kill off the good bacteria you’re reintroducing into your system.

“No antibiotics for colds, sore throats” Kristina Fiore, January 18, 2016, MedpageToday,