Report: Gut flora difficult to restore post-antibiotics
ANN ARBOR, Mich. Infection and Immunity, suggesting that those consumers taking a probiotic in conjunction with antibiotic therapy may need to continue with a probiotic supplement for some time following the course of antibiotics.—Patients on a course of antibiotics may have disrupted gut flora for weeks after stopping the medication, according to a report in the June issue of
In studies in mice, University of Michigan scientists determined that two different types of antibiotics can cause moderate- to wide-ranging changes in the ranks of beneficial bacteria. In the case of one of the antibiotics, good bacteria did not recover its former diversity even many weeks after a course of antibiotics was over.
The study results suggested that unless medical research discovers how to protect or revitalize the gut microbial community, “we may be doing long-term damage,” said Vincent Young, assistant professor in the departments of internal medicine and microbiology and immunology at the University of Michigan Medical School, and senior author of the study. “Both antibiotic treatments caused significant changes in the gut microbial community. However, in mice given cefoperazone, there was no recovery of normal diversity. In other mice given an amoxicillin-containing combination, the microbiota largely recovered, but not completely,” Young said.
Although cefoperazone is not commonly used in the United States, such related drugs as cefoxitin are, Young said. The study findings suggested that it is very important to use antibiotics only when indicated, especially in people with health problems that might already compromise their gut microbe health. Multiple rounds of antibiotics also may deserve concern.
The findings could eventually lead to better choices of antibiotics to minimize side effects of diarrhea, especially in vulnerable patients. They could also aid in understanding and treating inflammatory bowel disease, which affects an estimated 500,000 to 1 million people, and Clostridium difficile, a growing and serious infection problem for hospitals.
No comments found
Washington, Mo., considers repealing recently passed PSE legislation
NEW YORK The objective here is closing down clandestine methamphetamine labs. The question is: Who is going to bear the cost? And the answer, ultimately, is the consumer.
It seems that one of the primary reasons behind legislation like this, which is also under consideration by the California state legislature as well as several local municipalities throughout Missouri, is cost shifting.
Indeed, one solution that would prevent the practice of “smurfing,” a practice whereby meth addicts exceed their legal purchase limits in pseudoephedrine products by buying across several nearby pharmacies, is electronic logbooking. By granting access to PSE logbooks to law enforcement in real time, law enforcement officers would not only be made aware of a “smurfer” as they were driving between pharmacies, but would also identify who that smurfer was and where they lived.
Setting up that comprehensive electronic logbooking system requires resources, however. State coffers have traditionally been tapped for that purpose, and at least in the case of California, the Consumer Healthcare Products Association has offered to help defray that cost. In the case of Missouri, more than $500,000 has already been earmarked for the implementation of an electronic logbooking system at the state level.
However, a not-as-much-talked-about cost is also borne by law enforcement, as pointed out by Franklin County Sgt. Jason Grellner in Missouri. After all, it requires additional resources to actually apprehend and prosecute those criminals, he suggested. And a system that better defines who those criminals may be, by his estimation, could cost the state as much as $350,000 per criminal per year.
Therefore, Grellner argues, it’s a fiscal responsibility to take PSE off the OTC market altogether, and require a prescription for the popular decongestant.
That, in a nutshell, is cost-shifting. Because reverse switching PSE translates into less revenue for retailers (and consequently less taxable revenue, as well) for those consumers who choose to forego PSE-provided relief, and for those who don’t, it’s a greater healthcare cost because now consumers have to schedule an appointment with their primary care practitioner and pay the co-pay for that doctor’s visit on top of the cost of the PSE product.
Regardless of how the consumer ultimately pays for the elimination of meth labs — whether through increased taxes to cover escalating law enforcement budgets or through increased personal healthcare costs — there is another argument to be made here. Switching PSE to prescription-only status may result in fewer meth labs busted, but it’s not going to do anything about those meth addicts still on the street. Necessity is the mother of invention, and for addicts, that simply means sourcing their meth from somewhere else.
No comments found