First it was heartburn medication
. Then it was vaccines
. Now it's
antibiotics in the latest episode of cure-turned-bugbear. Researchers from the Yale recently found that
the use of antibiotics seemed to increase the rate of asthma among
infants. Scientists have been wondering why national asthma rates in
children have been on the rise amidst decreased levels of both pollution
and parental smoking, two important factors in development of asthma.
The Yale study
found that newborns treated with antibiotics in the first six months of
their lives were more than 52 percent more likely to develop asthma and
allergies by the age of 6 than babies that were not.
should make parents and health care providers of all children think
twice before using antibiotics with infants," says an editorial
in the Boston Globe. "There already were good reasons not to prescribe
antibiotics. Often, they don't work; many common ailments are caused by
viruses, which aren’t affected by antibiotics. (Doctors may prescribe
antibiotics anyway, just in case.) Moreover, the overuse of these
drugs--in patients young or old--can lead to the development of
It's not been a good day for antibiotics. Laura Roberts
at the Telegraph reports that children given antibiotics before the age
of three or four were almost two times as likely to develop issues like
Crohn's disease or irritable bowel syndrome later on. The risk
increased by 12 percent for every time an antibiotic was prescribed. Thomas H. Maugh II
at the Los Angeles Times reported on a study that documented the risks
associated with taking antibiotics and blood pressure medication at the
same time. Thankfully, Chicken noodle soup and orange juice haven't yet
been implicated in any major studies.
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