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Dangerous Antibiotics: Part One

A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that improper use of antibiotics can result in retinal detachment, which leads to blindness. Other patients suffered from kidney failure.

A prominent pharmacological epidemiologist told reporters that overuse of antibiotics is perpetrated “by lazy doctors who are trying to kill a fly with an automatic weapon.”

One patient told reporters that after being diagnosed with mild pneumonia, he was prescribed a strong antibiotic. Even after expressing concerns at the time of prescription and reporting negative side effects to his doctor after the first dose, he was told to keep taking it. After the second dose, he experience serious pain in his joints and vision problems.

The man suffers from ongoing complications as a result of this incident, including continued pain in his legs and joins, vision problems, dry eyes, mouth, and skin, ringing in his ears, heart palpitations, and many other serious and painful symptoms.

While this story may seem rather severe, experts say that some patients experience more startling side effects, such as hallucinations, depression, and psychotic reactions.

The issues in these cases are twofold. First, the problem of general overuse of antibiotics has caused the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in many hospitals. These powerful strains of bacteria can cause serious infections that are difficult to treat and can lead to wrongful death of patients who came to a hospital for treatment of a different illness. The second issue is culpability for the individual doctors who inappropriately prescribe these dangerous medications.

In our next post, we’ll discuss antibiotics as dangerous drugs as well as possible medical malpractice claims for patients who are injured by these medications.

Source: The New York Times, “Popular antibiotics may carry serious side effects” Jane E. Brody, Sept. 10, 2012

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