How "Drug Resistant" Superbugs Are Born…
Commentary by Nurse Mark
Here is an interesting series of correspondence, and one that shows just how well the drug companies have conditioned us to believe that the only answer for any malady is a prescription drug, and just how casual conventional medicine practitioners have become about prescribing powerful drugs. This woman recently wrote in with the following question:
I Hope all is well with you and your family. Fortunately for me, all I have is blood in my urine, burning sensation when urinating and bubbles (clouds) in my urine. I don’t think this is serious yet. But if it goes untreated, it can be deadly. I do not have any medical insurance and due to the economy, my business is not bringing in income. I cannot find a job. Q = Is there an antibiotic that I can take, without seeking a physician?
Well, times are tough and a lot of Americans are not doing well financially – but being without "disease insurance" is not necessarily a bad thing…
And it is true that if left untreated a urinary tract infection can be serious – indeed, alarming headlines have been filled recently with the tragic death of the South American model who developed a septicemia – reportedly from a bladder infection.
The short answer to N’s question is No.
Prescription drugs are called that because they must be prescribed by a licensed health care professional – usually a doctor with prescribing privileges – and all patented antibiotics that I know of are controlled substances, available by prescription only.
So, Dr. Myatt took the time to send N a brief reply pointing her in the direction of effective self-care:
This page tells you exactly what to do. More than 90% of people with a UTI (urinary tract infection) do NOT need, and shouldn’t take an antibiotic. Here’s what to do instead: http://www.drmyattswellnessclub.com/UrinaryTractInfections.htm
Well, it seems that in the meantime N was able to get together the money to go and seek a prescription – she wrote:
…Your web-site stated "Antibiotics not only kill bacteria in the urinary tract, but they can kill a lot of "friendly bacteria" in the gut as well." I don’t want to destroy the good bacteria in my body. I was prescribed the medication below. I was instructed to take 1 tablet twice a day for 7 days. Are you saying that I shouldn’t take it?
SMZ/TMP DS 800-160 TAB INTERPHARM substituted for BACTRIM DS
Can I find this D-mannose in the stores?
I have been reading up on your diet information. It’s makes a lot of sense. Some of these things I have known for years. I am from the old school where mom used bushes, weeds, roots, etc to heal our illnesses. I am a descendant of Africans who were captured and made into slaves in the 1700-1800′s. I am the 5th generation.
Since Dr. Myatt was up to her eyebrows in patient reports I took a few minutes to answer N this time – since I wanted a little more information about how this popular and powerful antibiotic was prescribed so quickly.
You may be able to find D-Mannose in local health-food stores. Be careful to obtain a high-quality product – not all supplements are created the same!
D-Mannose can also be found on our website: http://www.drmyattswellnessclub.com/DMannose.htm – this is a pharmaceutical grade product and we can vouch for it’s purity, potency, and quality.
As Dr. Myatt mentioned, it is impossible for us to advise you regarding the use of the antibiotic that was prescribed to you – we do not have benefit of the information that the person who prescribed it has: your history, symptoms, and laboratory report of the culture and sensitivity of your urine which tells whether there is a bacteria present in your urine, what variety of bacteria that is, and whether that bacteria is sensitive to (will be killed by) the antibiotic that was prescribed. The person who prescribed the antibiotic ~DID~ have a urinalysis culture and sensitivity performed, right?
An analogy could be that all snakes can bite – but some snake bites are much more serious than others. Knowing which kind of snake has bitten is pretty important!
If the urine C&S (med-speak for culture and sensitivity) showed that there was a bacteria present and that bacteria is sensitive to the antibiotic that was prescribed, then you should probably take the antibiotic as directed. Using the D-Mannose along with the antibiotic will help it to do it’s job better.
Some harm to the normal flora (bacteria) of the gut is unavoidable with almost any antibiotic use, but can be corrected with the use of probiotics (friendly gut bacteria) to replace the bacteria harmed by the antibiotics. More information, and an excellent product for this purpose can be found here: http://www.drmyattswellnessclub.com/supremadophilus.htm
N, as you know we often use the questions and comments of folks who write us in our HealthBeat Newsletter when we feel that they can be helpful to others. Some form of this back-and-forth will likely appear in an upcoming article as these are questions that we hear often. Can you tell me please, did the person who prescribed the antibiotic for you perform the laboratory test for culture and sensitivity on a sample of your urine, or was the antibiotic prescribed to you just based on your symptoms?
N wrote back once more to say:
Hi Nurse Mark,
Thank you for commenting on my questions. I went to one of the local hospitals. I gave a urine sample. The nurse said that I have a urinary tract infection. He said that there were white blood cells, bacteria and something else in the urine [Nurse Mark notes: probably protein]. Another nurse brought me a prescription along with home care instructions and sent me on my way.
Mark, thank you and Dr. Myatt for all of your help.
Well, there you have it – as I suspected, a urine sample was collected. It was certainly "dipped" – a test done in a few seconds using a dipstick that will demonstrate the quick results that N described. It may have been sent on to be cultured – a more expensive and time consuming test requiring 48 hours or more for meaningful results – but I doubt it. No, the antibiotic was prescribed presumptively – based on N’s reported symptoms and the results of the "dip".
You see, it is very common in conventional medicine to prescribe powerful antibiotics "presumptively", and here’s how it works: the patient complains of a symptom, and the doctor (or in this case the nurse) presumes that this symptom is the result of something common and therefore no further testing is necessary before prescribing a drug. Further, in this case, SMZ/TMP (Bactrim) is considered a "broad spectrum" antibiotic, meaning that accuracy in diagnosis is even less important – it’ll kill a wide variety of bacteria and so it is easy to prescribe. It’s easy, "cookbook" medicine.
Is this a good thing? Well, if used carefully it certainly is – broad spectrum antibiotics can be life-saving in the case of an overwhelming infection. They can be used to begin a patient on antibiotic therapy while a careful doctor awaits the results of the Culture and Sensitivity lab test that will t
ell him if he guessed correctly at what the causative bacteria was, and what that bacteria would be sensitive to. If the results of the C&S show that a different bacteria is present or is sensitive to a different antibiotic, then the antibiotic can always be changed – but only if a C&S was done, and only if the doctor was made aware of the results in a timely manner.
My guess is that none of that will happen and that N was prescribed her powerful antibiotic based on presumption and a "standing order". Standing Orders allow people who otherwise are not allowed to prescribe drugs to do so based on a set of defined conditions – the doctor just comes along and "signs off" on the order later. This saves time, gets more people seen, and sells more prescription drugs to people.
And that’s just the way the big drug companies like it.
Unfortunately this willy-nilly prescribing of powerful antibiotics at the drop of a hat (or the dip of a test stick) is giving us a frighteningly powerful crop of drug-resistant bacteria that scoff at our current antibiotics – these are the "superbugs" that we hear about ever more often in the news.
Superbugs that will need to be battled with yet-to-be-developed Super Antibiotics that can be patented and offered to a frightened and desperate public at "Super" prices.
And that’s just the way the big drug companies like it.
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