Antibiotics are nothing short of a miracle. Today, antibiotics are virtually taken for granted. But there is no doubt that since their introduction, antibiotics have saved millions of lives and, in the process, greatly increased the quality of life for a large percentage of the human population. Antibiotics are used to treat a variety of illnesses, and the number of antibiotics currently available is quite large. There is concern, however, that in the never-ending battle between man and germ that the germs are beginning to get ready for a major comeback.
Antibiotics are used to kill bacteria of all sorts, ranging from ear infections to sinus infections. However, in recent years, antibiotics have been over prescribed and over used. The result of this situation is that the bacteria that antibiotics are designed to fight are beginning to adapt very effectively. Currently, there is a race to develop new antibiotics in order to “stay ahead of the curve.”
Just as overuse of antibiotics has its issues and problems, there are other issues related to the taking of antibiotics as well. Antibiotics are, after all, drugs. Like all drugs, there are interactions that can occur. For example, antibiotic drugs are known to be interactive with the birth control pill. Of particular interest is the fact that antibiotics may result in a small decrease in the overall effectiveness of birth control medication. Likewise, alcohol is also known to cause some side effects when used with certain types of antibiotics.
Unfortunately, interactions with alcohol and birth control medication is not the only potentially harmful issue where antibiotics and drug interaction is concerned. Blood pressure medication for those with high blood pressure is another type of medication that may interact negatively with antibiotics. Some patients have been known to have very serious reactions from commonly used high blood pressure medications. These reactions have included shock and low blood pressure, and the risk is not a statistically small one either. Mixing commonly prescribed antibiotics and blood pressure medication have been shown to significantly increase the chances of negative interactions.
Most of us know that certain types of drugs just don’t mix. However, few people would think of making a connection between high blood pressure medication and antibiotics. In no small part, this is because both of these drugs have become so ubiquitous and commonplace.
In the coming years, issues such as the interaction between antibiotics and blood pressure medications will likely become more widely known. Currently, however, knowledge regarding this potentially lethal drug interaction is not well known or understood. The bottom line is that the combination of these drugs isn’t just dangerous, but is, in fact, potentially life threatening.
The mix of high blood pressure medication and antibiotics is particularly problematic for older patients. While the risk of this problem is quite serious and statistically significant, knowledge of this problem is not well known. This is particularly true outside of the medical community. Therefore, spreading this important information may just save a life.