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Doctors needlessly prescribe one million antibiotics a year to children with asthma

Sunday, May 29, 2011 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Tags: antibiotics, asthma, health news

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(NaturalNews) Standard protocol for many conventional doctors seems to be something along the lines of, when in doubt, just prescribe an antibiotic. A new study published in the journal Pediatrics has found that US doctors are literally handing out antibiotics like candy by needlessly prescribing about one million antibiotics a year to children with asthma, even though their conditions may not have anything to do with a bacterial infection.

Dr. Kris De Boeck from the University Hospital of Leuven and her colleagues discovered that doctors both in the US and abroad have a tendency to over-prescribe antibiotics to children with asthma, which is contributing to the spread of deadly antibiotic-resistant "superbugs." Children who are already being prescribed asthma drugs are twice as likely as other children to also be prescribed antibiotics, the team found.

"You must have a good reason to prescribe both an asthma drug and an antibiotic," said Dr. De Boeck to Reuters Health. Carelessly doling out antibiotics when they are not needed "put[s] pressure on bacteria and drive[s] them to develop survival strategies," meaning they will mutate into superbugs, she added.

The problem lies mainly in doctors' incorrect observations of wheezing and other respiratory conditions in young children. Rather than try to pinpoint the precise cause of these and other breathing problems, many doctors simply default to prescribing antibiotics as part of a trial-and-error approach. The end result is not only an increase in superbugs, but also the destruction of children's immune systems, which makes them more prone to disease, and potentially even worse asthma symptoms.

In 2004, Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, interviewed Dr. F. Batmanghelidj, who says that asthma is an improperly-understood disease that is actually caused by dehydration. To read a short transcript of that interview, visit:

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