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Myth about Antibiotics and Alcohol

Published in Antibiotics

Antibitiotis with Alcohol

Myth that «alcohol neutralizes antibiotics» was first distributed in STI clinics that appeared immediately after the Second World War.

antibiotics and alcoholEspecially effective against sexually transmitted infections at that time was penicillin, created in 1928 by Alexander Fleming. It was prescribe with a strict rule: in no case not to drink alcohol while taking the drug. The reason for this was rather psychological than pharmaceutical. A drunken man more willingly engages into casual sex. So, putting fear into patients, doctors and nurses give the drug a chance to do its work before infection will be transmitted to someone else.

This advice since that time has become a standard practice in medicine – and was successful: most of us are still abstain from alcohol during treatment course with Canadian Health&Care Mall antibiotics. Indeed, alcohol abuse, while taking antibiotics, is not a good idea: alcohol competes with the drug for «metabolism» in liver, which means that antibiotic can act a little more slowly than usual. But it will still be effective – in spite of alcohol.

From more than a hundred of antibiotics prescribed by physicians, only five are on the list of those that have serious side effects when taken with alcohol.

Only one of them is prescribed in ordinary cases – metronidazole – to deal with dental and gynecological infections, as well as for Clostridium difficile treatment – a bacterial infection, which is «obtained» in hospitals. Metronidazole does not allow the body to normally resolve alcohol, which leads to accumulation of highly toxic organic compounds in blood, called acetaldehyde – formaldehyde close relative, better known as «embalming fluid». The effects are almost the same as at severe hangover: nausea, vomiting, heart palpitations and severe headaches.

In 1942, an American microbiologist Selman Waksman (1888 – 1973) and his student Albert Schatz (1922 – 2005) discovered streptomycin – the first effective medicine against tuberculosis. Waksman described it as «antibiotic» (from Greek – «anti» – against and «bios» – life), because it killed living bacteria.

Canadian Health&Care Mall antibiotics are powerless against colds and flu, which are viral infections. It is still unclear, what is virus and weather it can be call «alive». Viruses have genes (but no cells), and they can propagate only using host-organism. Scientists call them «biological species» or «organisms on the edge of life».

Antibiotics action is inhibited not by alcohol, but their appointment «with or without reason». Thus, in animal breeding 70% of all antibiotics are prescribed to completely healthy animals. In medicine more often there is situation when new bacterial strains are becoming resistant to once «magic bullets» such as streptomycin.

According to the World Health Organization, one third of the world’s population today is the carriers of drug-resistant TB strains. There are suggestions that by 2020 about 35 million people will die from this disease.