1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)

Antibiotic Use Q&A

Pregnant, bladder infection and antibiotics

Question from Nancy

I am now 13 weeks pregnant. I have been fighting a bladder infection now for five weeks. been put on two different antibiotics but after a few days of finshing the medication, the symptoms return. I am now again needing to get more anitbiotics. I am drinking plenty of water, and completly empting my bladder (very often).

My question: Could my pregnancy be the cause of this continuing problem? AND If these antibiotics are not working to kill the infection, what do I do?

Dear Nancy:

Your pregnancy is not causing the bladder infections. You may not be able to completely treat the bacteria during the pregnancy, however, just being able to keep them suppressed is normally good enough. Keep on working on it, and I am sure that your doctor will find an antibiotic that will do the job and be “baby-safe” as well.

Antibiotics and helpful bacteria

Question from John of New Hampshire, USA

I am on an antibiotic called CEFTIN. It lists side effects about losing certain bacteria you need in you system, but does not tell you what to do to get it back.

Dear John:

Antibiotics can kill many of the helpful bacteria as well as the harmful ones, leading to such side effects as thrush (yeast in the mouth), vaginal yeast, and diarrhea. These side effects are often self limited (when the antibiotic is stopped and your own “good” bacteria regrow over several days naturally), however, specific treatments may be needed in cases where abnormal bacteria dominate and can even involve another antibiotic.

Bacteremia and treated with antibiotics

Question from Holly of Davenport, Iowa, USA

My son was recently diagnosed with bacteremia and treated with antibiotics. What is this condition, and how serious is it?

Dear Holly:

Bacteremia means bacteria within the blood stream. There are many causes of bacteremia ranging from the usually harmless minor bacteremia from brushing one’s teeth to the potentially serious bacteremia that can be from bacterial infections within organs of the body.

The severity of the bacteremia depends on exactly what is causing the seeding of bacteria into the blood as well as the underlying condition of the patient. For example, if a patient has foreign body implants, such as joint replacements or heart valves, bacteremia can lead to infection of the foreign body part – a very serious condition.

Antibiotics and Alcohol

Question from Susan of CT, USA

When taking an antibiotic, is there a general rule to follow regarding the intake of alcohol or would this depend upon the particular antibiotic in question?

In particular, I was advised against taking alcohol while taking doxycycline while nothing was said about alcohol regarding KEFLEX.

Dear Susan:

An excellent question. Alcohol in general is not contraindicated with antibiotics, with many exceptions. For example FLAGYL and many monobactam antibiotics combined with alcohol are a bad mix and can cause severe nausea and headaches. Alcohol and INH combination may be liver toxic. Doxycycline and many other medications maybe irritating to the stomach, as can alcohol, and this may lead one to suggest not taking together. Otherwise I see no contraindications with doxycyxline. Also, alcohol combined with a medication that depresses the function of the brain could be very dangerous.

Always consult you pharmacist or physician when you wish to take alcohol with any medication.

Antibiotics and Mastoid Infections

Question from Daniel

I am 56 yrs. old and have had mastoid troubles since 5yrs old. I had my first ear surgery when I was 5 yrs. old on right ear with big scare behind the ear and another one right ear and left ear when I was 18yrs old and I have lost all hearing and feeling in left ear. I have frequent bouts with infection in right ear and have been using the drug “OFLAXACIN” with good results. I wear a hearing aid in left ear and have since 14yrs old.

Where did this come from and why does it (Mastoid Infection) and why does it keep flaring up? Would further surgery in this day and age do any good? What is the possibilities of losing all hearing in left ear? I have a loud rushing sound in my right ear all the time and when I discuss it with my ear specialist he doesn’t seem to concerned about it even though it bothers me a lot especially when I am very tired. Is there anything that can be done about it?????

Dear Daniel:

Mastoid infections are often very difficult to treat, and your story of recurrent infections and the need for repeated surgery is common. Mastoid infections probably result from inadequate aeration of the bony mastoid cavity. This then leads to persistent infection, drainage, scaring, and hearing loss. Fortunately, mastoid infections are becoming far less common these days with the development of strong antibiotics, increased awareness of the problem by physicians, and the use of tubes in cases of severe recurrent or persistent ear disease.

Unfortunately, your questions are impossible to address without a careful examination, a more detailed history of your prior problems, and a review of your CT scan and audiogram. I would suggest addressing your questions to your ear specialist. He/she should be able to give you more specific information.

Interstitial cystitis, fibromyalgia

Question from Jean of California

I have had interstitial cystitis, fibromyalgia, and irritable bowel syndrome for about six years now. None of the standard treatments have helped any of it (DMSO, ELAVIL, LEVSIN, Elmiron (compassionate use), or ATARAX). But I just took AUGMENTIN for 4 wks ( I’ve been off it for two weeks now) and find that my IC and fibromyalgia are a whole lot better, and the irritable bowel problems are a little better. Why would this have helped if IC is not supposed to be a bacterial disease? Can I go on and off antibiotics to keep the symptoms reduced without any problems, long-term?

Dear Jean:

Antibiotics are known to have some intrinsic antiinflammatory properties. It is conceivable that you may have benefited from this effect decreasing inflammation. Alternatively, you might have had an active bacterial cystitis (bladder infection).

Symptoms of fibromyalgia can improve when underlying illnesses are quieted.

As to future treatments, please consult your doctor regarding what would be the best approach in your particular case.

Leave a Reply
Notify of