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 Bioterrorism  Holistic-online.com

Cipro Can Be Harmful

Serious side effects reported. Experts advise caution.

The anthrax scare has prompted many people to hoard the antibiotic Cipro. Some people may even be self medicating this antibiotic. However, Cipro comes with several serious side effects and should be used only when it is absolutely necessary and then under the supervision of a doctor who can switch you to a more suitable antibiotic if serious side effects appear.

Known adverse health effects of cipro include vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, dizziness, sun sensitivity and rash. Central Nervous System effects occur in <1% of patients and may be accentuated by caffeine or theophylline-containing medications.

Obviously, time is of essence when you are exposed to anthrax. Hence, very often it may be a choice between suffering through the serious side effects or almost sure death. But if you are not exposed to anthrax spores or are not in risk of doing so, it does not make any sense to take Cipro. Indescriminate use of Cipro can also make you resistant to it so that when you need it, it may be less effective. We recommend that you not take Cipro unless it is prescribed by a doctor and under his/her supervision. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of the side effects.

The results from a recent study details "severe and permanently disabling" side effects from the antibiotic Cipro and its chemical cousins. The study involved 45 cases in which antibiotics called fluoroquinolones caused neurological problems, from tingling and numbness to more serious symptoms such as impaired thinking and hallucinations. Eleven of the cases involved Cipro.

"The severity of some of these cases and the duration is chilling," said Dr. Jay Cohen of the University of California, San Diego, who analyzed the 45 cases. Most of the victims suffered other adverse effects as well. Three of four reported central nervous system problems and musco-skeletal symptoms such as joint or muscle pain or tendon rupture.

Other research has associated fluoroquinolones with increased incidence of tendinitis and tendon rupture, particularly involving the Achilles tendon.

Most of those studied by Cohen had symptoms lasting for more than a month, but half exceeded a year. The average patient age was 42. Often, the reactions began within days of starting an antibiotic regimen.

Cohen said he would recommend Cipro only as a last resort.

Several other antibiotics such as penicillin and doxycycline are also effective against anthrax.

See Also: What are the alternative drugs that may be effective against anthrax attacks?

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