The FDA is warning against using a popular class of antibiotics called fluoroquinolones. They may cause sudden serious and potentially permanent nerve damage, called peripheral neuropathy.
Fluoroquinolones are antibiotics that are commonly used to treat a variety of illnesses such as respiratory and urinary tract infections. These medicines include ciprofloxacin, gemifloxacin, levofloxacin, moxifloxacin, norfloxacin, and ofloxacin. Their use is fairly prevalent, and in 2011 alone there were more than twenty-three million patients who were prescribed one of them.
Even though this drug works by killing or stopping the growth of bacteria that can cause illness, doctors are now saying that the costs outweigh the benefits when it comes to treating sinusitis and UTI infections, for which the drug is usually prescribed.
Unpleasant Side Effects
The symptoms of fluoroquinolones typically begin very rapidly, within a few days of beginning treatment. The damage they cause might last for months or even be permanent even after having stopped using the drug.
The risk of peripheral neuropathy appears to affect only those who take fluoroquinolones by mouth or by injection. You should contact your doctor immediately if you develop numbness, tingling, weakness, burning, shooting pains, or other symptoms while taking this drug.
But there are other side effects that can happen when you start taking this drug, and this includes tendon damage and rupture, joint and muscle pain, pins and needles tingling or pricking sensation, confusion, and hallucinations. You should contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of these.
Peripheral neuropathy is damage to the nerves that send information to and from the brain and spinal cord, and the rest of the body.
Damage interrupts this connection, and the symptoms depend on which nerves are affected. Most commonly, the damage takes place in the arms and legs and includes numbness, tingling, burning or shooting pain.
There have even been reports of long-lasting nerve damage in patients leading to disability from taking this type of medication
To help kill off the infection, there are a handful of natural antibiotics you can try, of which Goldenseal and echinacea are the most commonly used and most thoroughly researched.
Goldenseal (we recommend this) has a high content of alkaloids, which are known to have antibiotic and immune-supporting properties, as well as the ability to prevent bacteria from “sticking” to healthy cells.
Echinacea (we recommend this) is a popular natural remedy for the common cold, and rightly so; studies have proven its immune-enhancing properties.
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