old folks and overuse of antibiotics

ANTIBIOTIC OVERUSE IN THE GERIATRIC POPULATION

No segment of the American population is more over-medicated than our senior citizens.   In a study from the latest issue of Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine (Prolonged Antibiotic Treatment in Long-Term Care: Role of the Prescriber), we get an idea of how serious this problem of over-prescription is as far as Antibiotics are concerned.

If you have spent any time at all on my blog, you have heard me say that ANTIBIOTICS are one of the single biggest destroyers of health in America (probably just behind our crappy diets and sedentary lifestyles).  Antibiotics are being tied directly to a myriad of health problems, including Chronic Pain Syndromes and AUTOIMMUNITY.  According to the study’s lead author (Dr Daneman of the University of Toronto), about 20% of the doctors wrote 80% of the geriatric Antibiotic prescriptions, with nearly 45% of these being prescribed for an average of 11 1/2 days.  Furthermore, they discovered that 75% of the 67,000 patients whose records were reviewed for the study were given Antibiotics on at least a yearly basis.   Daneman wrote in JAMA Internal Medicine that, 

“High rates of institutional antibiotic use are driving increased rates of antibiotic resistance, Clostridium difficile infection, antibiotic-related adverse events, and healthcare costs, yet up to half of antibiotic use in acute and long-term-care institutions is unnecessary or inappropriate.”

Here is what is really crazy.  We know that older folks tend to have high rates of musculoskeletal complaints, including ARTHRITIS.  According to the study, the most commonly prescribed Antibiotics (35%) were for fluoroquinolones.  In case you have not heard, THIS CLASS of Antibiotic is heavily associated with TENDINOPATHY and Chronic Pain.  But the problems with FLUOROQUINOLONES do not stop there.

According to Drs. Carmel Hughes and Michael Tunney of Queen’s University Belfast, “The level of fluoroquinolone prescribing is surprising given the association between the use of these antibiotics and Clostridium difficile infection….   Clearly, greater caution should be exercised in the use of fluoroquinolones in the long-term-care setting“.  Clostridium Difficile (otherwise known as C. Diff) is a highly contagious bacterium that can rampage through institutionalized populations like wildfire.  I recently wrote about one of the only ways that many people can beat this form of DYSBIOSIS —– FECES TRANSPLANTS

People jokingly like to say, “If I knew I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself“.  It is never too late to take the underlying message of these words to heart.  If you start now, maybe you’ll never end up in a nursing home. HERE is how to go about it.

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on pinterest
Pinterest
Share on reddit
Reddit

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *