Submitted by Jim K on Tue, 2006-02-14 21:41

Answers to Concerns About Long-Term Antibiotics

Many doctors, and patients, raise concerns about the long-term effects or side effects of antibiotics, and are frightened of the CAP’s because of this. Doctors, especially, need a little support for going against the grain of their training.

On the issue of side effects-
As I noted in a ThisIsMs post, the side effects of MS are devastating disability and death. Kinda puts a scale on things, doesn’t it? Similarly:

  • The side effects of Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia are minimally functional existence, depression, unrelenting pain.
  • The side effects of Rheumatoid Arthritis are unrelenting pain and encroaching disability and dysfunction.
  • The side effects of Alzheimer’s Disease are… well, you get the picture.

The side effects of the antibiotics commonly used in CAP’s for Cpn are intestinal upset from killing bowel flora, nausea if not taken with food, and some idiosyncratic effects for different people. All of these are transient, and mild or can be handled with counter agents (such as supplementing bowel flora in between antibiotic dosages).

The main side effects patients with Cpn have are actually die-off reactions from Cpn bacterial kill. Patients who do not have Cpn (or other significantly endotoxic bacteria) will not have these typical die-off reactions to Cpn. These, then, are not “side effects” but actually main effects.

Long term antibiotic use is harmful- Many antibiotics, especially the tetracycline family such as the doxycycline used in most CAP’s or minocycline, have been used long term (i.e. for years) without harmful effects. They have been used this way as immunomodulators, in low dose protocols (such as for arthritis) and at regular doses for acne.

Flagyl/Tinidazole are potentially carcinogenic-
Studies of carcinogenic effects are done on rats with huge doses not used in humans, and are taken continuously to produce these effects. This is another good reason why these medications are pulsed in the CAP's rather than taken continuously. Note: Cpn left to proliferate in tissues is potentially carcinogenic as well.

Doesn’t long term use of antibiotics create bacterial resistance?
The use of two anti-replication antibiotics which work on different proteins in the replication process (e.g. doxycycline and azithromycin combo) is done specifically to minimize the possibility of resistance. Taking NAC to kill the infectious Elementary Body stage of the Cpn organism and Flagyl/Tinidazole further minimizes resistance because, as Dr. Charles Stratton noted in an article by this name, “Dead Bugs Don’t Mutate.” Additionally, these antibiotics are not the ones used to treat the dire acute disorders where potential resistance could bbe fatal such as acute septicaemia, acute meningitis etc. So any potential resistance is unlikely to influence treatment of such emergency disorders.

Won’t antibiotics cause yeast infections?
If you don’t supplement regularly with probiotic flora you can get intestinal Candida imbalance (dysbiosis). Supplementation, plus appropriate use of antifungals for existing infections (nystatin, diflucan, oregano oil, etc.) will prevent this.

On a related note: Cpn can infect the bowel quite significantly. Dr. David Wheldon has observed, "The resolution of fungal infections is quite remarkable. I've seen people with long-term dermatomycoses (unresponsive to antifungals) which have paradoxically resolved with Cpn treatment." Many of us with what we thought was chronic yeast infection noticed that after a month or two on antibiotics our “yeast problem” resolved quite a bit. The problem was, in fact, that bowel Cpn was the more central problem, and as it resolved so did other bowel problems. Resolving bowel Cpn also enhances the bowel immune system, since Cpn can infect immune cells. Additionally, the secondary porphyria can cause bowel and stomach problems that resolve as the Cpn infection causing the porphyria resolves.

To summarize-
You can reinforce with your doctor:
That the “side effects” of otherwise untreatable diseases are much more significant than the side effects of these common antibiotics.
That these antibiotics were especially chosen to have minimal long term effects,
That they are used long-term for other diseases simply as immune modulators,
That the more toxic ones (e.g. Flagyl) are used in pulses minimizing their harm potential,
That the dual abx prevents resistance from arising in long term use,
That the gut flora effects can be readily balanced by probiotic flora supplements and by anti=yeast medications (e.g. nystatin, diflucan) or herbs.
That the use of NAC instead of amoxicillin not only further protects gut flora, but protects the liver as well.