The long-term side effects of antibiotics are often less recognizable than you might think. You may have heard of some of the most frightening side effects, such as hairy tongue and rashes. But did you know that antibiotics can have weird side effects too? One woman was given a colostomy bag full of antibiotics and suddenly developed a black hairy tongue. You can reduce the risks of these unpleasant side effects by minimizing the unnecessary use of antibiotics.
In 2008, the FDA published ‘black box’ warnings on antibiotics, calling attention to serious risks. In 2013, the FDA added a new risk related to irreversible nerve damage. Patients have begun to file lawsuits against manufacturers of antibiotics, claiming that they were not adequately informed about the risks. These lawsuits have been settled and won, but the manufacturers often argue that the risks are not that severe and work with the FDA to update the safety label.
Long-term use of antibiotics may increase the risk of heart disease. However, the risk of death is lowered in women with healthy lifestyles, as compared to patients who do not take antibiotics. Additionally, long-term antibiotic use may help physicians evaluate the risks associated with the use of antibiotics for other conditions, such as abscesses. Further studies involving more diverse patient cohorts and more data on coexisting conditions and lifestyle risk factors may be needed to make a more precise assessment of long-term antibiotic use.
However, antibiotics are still highly effective at reducing the incidence of serious side effects. Studies have shown that in the US, the number of fluoroquinolone antibiotic prescriptions dropped by 10% in 2016, and this trend is expected to continue in 2017. This trend was also seen in Europe, where the European Medicines Agency expects to publish the results of its safety review this year. The next step will be a public hearing, which is scheduled for June.
One of the long-term effects of antibiotics is a change in the microbiota of the human body. This change may have negative effects on immunity, metabolism, and neurologic pathways. It’s also possible that prolonged antibiotic exposure may cause birth defects or premature death. And for babies, prolonged antibiotic therapy may increase the risk of gastrointestinal problems and very low birth weight. In many cases, doctors may prescribe alternatives to antibiotics when they detect the risk of sensitivity to these drugs.
The short-term effects of antibiotics can be minor or severe, depending on the severity of the infection. If they are severe, report them to your physician right away. Inappropriate use of antibiotics increases the risk of bacterial resistance and makes them ineffective. Therefore, antibiotics must be used sparingly and with caution. Always follow your doctor’s instructions, and don’t give antibiotics to others. If you do, you may end up putting yourself at risk for other side effects.
Fluoroquinolones are a class of antibiotics. The fluoroquinolone class of antibiotics is known to cause a number of long-term side effects, including tendonitis and tendon rupture. These side effects are common but sometimes unrecognized. The CHMP’s opinion is forwarded to the European Commission, which will issue a legally binding decision. If fluoroquinolones are not banned, they will be regulated by national authorities. They are also known to cause long-term and disabling side effects in the body, including the nervous system and muscles.