To finish antibiotics on not to finish antibiotics
Aug 4, 2008 at 6:57 AM Post #31 of 37

Clutz

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Quote:

Originally Posted by ZepFloyd /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I know people and have said that with all the antibiotics that are prescribed germs/bacteria are learning to resist it. A friend of mine brought up a good point though...we develop medicine so quickly now that it doesnt seem likely germs/bacteria will ever be able to evolve and resist treatments.


Your friend is totally wrong. Actually, we develop antibiotics at a relatively slow rate. I used to know more about this a few years ago, but in general it takes about 10 years for the development of a new antibiotic, and the amount of time until the occurrence of bacteria resistant to the new antibiotics are decreasing. Furthermore, evolution proceeds at a rate proportional to population size, mutation rate, and inversely proportional to generation time. Bacteria generally have extremely large population sizes, very high mutation rates (compared to higher organisms), and very short generation times = very adaptable organisms. Add to that the whole concept of a 'species' is a little bit vague when it comes to bacteria (there is ~50% genetic variation among various strains of E. coli - that's more genetic variation than separates all the primates from each other by a long shot, just to put it in perspective). Bacteria are able to 'exchange' genes for antibiotic resistance with each other, so bacteria don't have the problem that most organisms have where each species / strain of bacteria has to independently evolve resistance - they only have to come into contact with a compatible strain/species that has evolved resistance, and either exchange plasmids, or in some cases one bacteria consuming the other.

Antibiotic resistance is an area I actively research (I'm a professional biologist), and it is a much bigger problems than is generally accepted/known.

On the topic of how long to take antibiotics for? Complete your course of antibiotics. Is 5 days enough? 7 days? 10 days? Who knows - it depends on the details of the infection you have - if it already has some resistance, what the total population size is, etc. I would take it for as long as it is prescribed. Is it really that inconvenient to take your pills three times a day for an extra few days?
 
Aug 4, 2008 at 11:49 AM Post #32 of 37

Dzjudz

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Samgotit /img/forum/go_quote.gif
That's called a label, DZ.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Samgotit /img/forum/go_quote.gif
No way, Dz. I got you before the edit. Stamp out!


Lol, didn't notice either post before I left. Isn't a label on the outside of a package though? I'm talking about the paper inside the package which describes name, origin, compounds, usage, side-effects, warnings, etc.


Anyway, on the story of doctors over-prescribing antibiotics: my father is a GP, and the other day he had a French family in his practice. The daughter had a sore throat, probably a throat infection. The usual practice here in the Netherlands is to wait and see for about 4 days, and if it still persists, then antibiotics may be prescribed. The French family told him they were surprised, because, as they said, in France the doctors bombard you with antibiotics. I wouldn't be surprised if resistant bacterias come from France more often than from the Netherlands.


And on the point of we producing and developing medicins fast enough to counteract resistant bacterias: not the case. There are several cases of 'super-bacteria' in hospitals which are resistant to every known antibiotic. Those patients must be quarantined. Scary stuff.
 
Jan 31, 2009 at 11:10 PM Post #33 of 37

nickdawg

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Jan 31, 2009 at 11:26 PM Post #34 of 37

Al4x

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Clutz /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Your friend is totally wrong. Actually, we develop antibiotics at a relatively slow rate. I used to know more about this a few years ago, but in general it takes about 10 years for the development of a new antibiotic, and the amount of time until the occurrence of bacteria resistant to the new antibiotics are decreasing. Furthermore, evolution proceeds at a rate proportional to population size, mutation rate, and inversely proportional to generation time. Bacteria generally have extremely large population sizes, very high mutation rates (compared to higher organisms), and very short generation times = very adaptable organisms. Add to that the whole concept of a 'species' is a little bit vague when it comes to bacteria (there is ~50% genetic variation among various strains of E. coli - that's more genetic variation than separates all the primates from each other by a long shot, just to put it in perspective). Bacteria are able to 'exchange' genes for antibiotic resistance with each other, so bacteria don't have the problem that most organisms have where each species / strain of bacteria has to independently evolve resistance - they only have to come into contact with a compatible strain/species that has evolved resistance, and either exchange plasmids, or in some cases one bacteria consuming the other.

Antibiotic resistance is an area I actively research (I'm a professional biologist), and it is a much bigger problems than is generally accepted/known.



was gonna mention this

there have been so few new antibiotics recently, a new antibiotic [such as penicillin is very effective for a long time because no bacteria anywhere has come across it, but these are expensive to generate, with well over 99% failing. this si very very expensive and why drug companies charge alot [uk not so bad, nhs, £7.10 for whatever prescription] otherwise there would be no new drugs
it is much cheaper for a company to alter an existing drug, like penicillin, to make a new compound based on the original, [like amoxicillin etc] which will work for a short time, but because the bacteria has come across something similar and has resistance it doesnt take so long to become resistant to the semi new compound
its like, if youve never seen a car you would take a long time too know how to use it, but once youve learnt how to use an automatic and you come across a manual, it doesnt take long to adapt

bacteria are very adaptive and can even transfer resistance to other species [like you said] [horizontally] as well as down the line like higher organisms, this makes adaption even quicker, plasmids btw are rings of DNA sepate to the main chromosome, so are freely available for transfer,
bacteria consuming each other is where mitochondria arethought to have come from [responsible for our respiration]

then we have strains like MRSA etc, and once you got one, boom, resistance
 
Feb 1, 2009 at 4:44 AM Post #35 of 37

kool bubba ice

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Blah, anti biotics do more harm then good, unless you really need them. I here they also temporary lower your immune system. I hate anti biotics. I had bad experiences with them. Like causing another infection, chronic tonsilitis etc. My dentist probably wrote me 10 prescriptions for anti biotics over a 2 yr run. Most my teeth were infected, and was causing me nerve pain. If you had nerve pain due to an infected tooth, you know how pain ful they are. It would make me literally jump when I had an attack. I had all my teeth removed..Took 3 different visits..The last visit they pulled out about 12...They call it oral surgery. My dentist always prescribed me anti biotics afterwards, but never took them. Too many bad things have happen to me when taking AB.
 
Feb 1, 2009 at 4:58 AM Post #36 of 37

Clutz

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Quote:

Originally Posted by kool bubba ice /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Blah, anti biotics do more harm then good, unless you really need them.


Words of wisdom, and this is true for all medication, not just antibiotics.

Quote:

I here they also temporary lower your immune system.


[quite]I hate anti biotics. I had bad experiences with them. Like causing another infection, chronic tonsilitis etc. [/quote]

This (probably) isn't because the antibiotics lowered your immune system. It's probably because the antibiotics killed all the beneficial bacteria you had in your tonsils, but there were some antibiotic resistant bacteria living there already. When you took the antibiotics, the good bacteria where wiped out, but the bad antibiotic resistant bacteria were able to take over. Once they became established, it would become difficult to displace them with new, good bacteria.

Quote:

Most my teeth were infected, and was causing me nerve pain. If you had nerve pain due to an infected tooth, you know how pain ful they are.


Yeah, I can relate. I had a tooth with a rotten nerve, and it felt good to have the tooth pulled. It hurt more than kidney stones. Freezing didn't work cause the nerve was so damaged- and it still felt like it was less painful to have it pulled.

Quote:

My dentist always prescribed me anti biotics afterwards, but never took them. Too many bad things have happen to me when taking AB.


You don't want bad infections developing in your mouth. It's too close to your sinuses, and if you get a bad infection in your sinuses, it can spread other places in your head. Seriously, if you dont' want to take the antibiotics your dentist prescribed cause you're concerned his incompetant with regards to prescribing antibiotics, then don't take his- but go and get some from a doctor you do trust. You can die from bacterial infections that start in your head and spread.
 
Feb 1, 2009 at 5:01 AM Post #37 of 37

Clutz

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Al4x /img/forum/go_quote.gif
bacteria are very adaptive and can even transfer resistance to other species [like you said] [horizontally] as well as down the line like higher organisms, this makes adaption even quicker, plasmids btw are rings of DNA sepate to the main chromosome, so are freely available for transfer,
bacteria consuming each other is where mitochondria arethought to have come from [responsible for our respiration]

then we have strains like MRSA etc, and once you got one, boom, resistance



Al4x's analogy to learning to drive a new car is a pretty good one. MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) is by definition antibiotic resistant to Methicillin, although there are some very rarely used antibiotics that it is usually treatable with. The problem is these antibiotics tend to be very powerful, only available to be administered in hospital via an IV bag, and make you sick.

Brad
 

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