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If the doctor offers you antibiotics for a cold, punch him. September 23, 2006

Posted by Hegemony in Health, Science Rants.

There is a problem in medicine today.  A lot of antibiotics don’t work anymore.  Who’s fault is this?  Ours.  By “ours” I mean the western world.  We have abused antibiotics since they first came into use.

If you ever go to the doctor for a cold or the flu he might give you antibiotics.  Cold and flu are both caused by a virus so why the antibiotics?  Apparently to guard against secondary infections.  But most people will never have to worry about that.  This seems to be a common practice now.  Unless you have a history of such infections you should not take them.  The use of antibiotics causes the organisms in your body to be more likely to express antibiotic resistance genes.  These organisms don’t stay in you forever either.  Their progeny will find their way out and share their genes among other similar bacteria.

Penicillin is now basically useless.  Even synthetic penicillins are losing effectiveness.  The unnecessary feeding of antibiotics to cattle is also a big problem.  It’s just amplifying the problem.

There is a time to use antibiotics… when you have a bacterial infection.  If a doctor is too lazy to actually get a culture and just gives you a couple sample packages of antibiotics he’s being stupid.



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