Antibiotic overuse danger to pregnant women
The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has warned the public that antibiotic overuse has the potential to cripple the entire modern medical system.1 Despite public awareness campaigns about responsible use of antibiotics, antibiotics continue to be prescribed for colds, flu, sinusitis and bronchitis.
Antibiotics are one of the most common medications taken by pregnant women, and a new study has made connections between antibiotics use during pregnancy and incidence of birth defects. Sulfonamides and nitrofurantoins were each associated with several birth defects – women who took these classes of antibiotics while pregnant were 2-4 times as likely to give birth to a baby with a heart defect. The more commonly used penicillins, erythromycins, and cephalosporins were each associated with at least one birth defect.2
As inappropriate use of antibiotics continues, more and more resistant microbes will spread, and antibiotics will consequently become less effective. Antibiotics are not harmless medications and should be reserved for severe (and carefully documented) bacterial infections - infections that would seriously threaten the health of the patient if left untreated. We have powerful immune systems which, when supported by excellent nutrition, will clear the more moderate infections without help from drugs.
- Crider KS et al. Antibacterial medication use during pregnancy and risk of birth defects: National Birth Defects Prevention Study. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2009 Nov;163(11):978-85.
Joel Fuhrman MD Links
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