Antibiotics: The more you use them, the more you abuse them

Antibiotics are generally understood by the average person as the drugs used to cure infections. And most people fully expect their doctors to prescribe antibiotics for a bad cough, cold, sore throat, flu or ear infection. But in a study conducted by Utah University researchers, it was found that “in more than 25 percent of cases, such prescriptions are useless because the infection stems from a virus, which cannot be treated with antibiotics.” Treating a viral infection with antibiotics means that you’re taking medicine that may have no chance of helping you, and a very real chance of hurting you. So why would doctors prescribe an antibiotic that does not help?

When your meds turn on you

You can’t miss them -- on television, online and in magazines, advertisements showing an average person (someone just like you, perhaps) suffering from one medical ailment or another. With the help of the medicine being promoted, they feel a thousand times better and get on with their daily lives. Then comes the rapid-fire or, in the case of newspapers and magazines, the fine-print, about the medication’s potential side effects, ranging from nausea to even death.

Popping pills for pains?

The U.S. is one of the richest, most privileged countries in the world — and also the most avid consumers of pain pills, according to a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control. We take twice as many opioid pain-relievers per person as Canada does (they are #2 on the dubious list of pill-popping nations).

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