Cipro for Diarrhea Part 3: Diarrhea Treatment

Diarrhea treatment, no one wants to have to think about it, but it is an all-too common occurrence that many people find severe enough to seek treatment. While seeking medical care immediately expands treatment options from over-the-counter medications and supplements to what a doctor can prescribe, this choice could seriously impact health and well-being, not necessarily in a good way.

That is because, all too often, the drug the doctor chooses is called Cipro, also known as Ciprofloxacin. Cipro is in a class of antibiotics known as the Fluoroquinolones, which includes Cipro, Levaquin, Floxin, Factive, and Avelox, to name just a few. These Quinolone Antibiotics have a long history of being pulled off of the market in Postmarketing Studies that revealed their dangers, leading some researchers, like Beatrice Golomb, to urge more caution in their use, saving these drugs for times when no better option is available.

Fluoroquinolone use should be restricted to situations in which there is no safe and effective alternative to treat an infection caused by multidrug-resistant bacteria or to provide oral therapy when parenteral therapy is not feasible and no other effective oral agent is available. 1

However, there are others who wish to liberalize the use of this class of antibiotics even further, despite their having several Black Box Warnings on the packaging for severe lifelong disabling conditions such as Tendon Rupture and the painful nerve condition known as Peripheral Neuropathy. Sherwood L Gorbach Professor of community health and Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston recommends Cipro as a first line drug for so-called ‘severe’ diarrhea.

Patients with severe community acquired diarrhoea, defined as more
than four loose motions a day and an associated symptom, should receive an
antimicrobial drug, preferably a quinolone. In this subset of patients with acute diarrhoea,
there is a high likelihood of isolating a bacterial pathogen (87% in Dryden et al’s study )..
Treating Diarrhea, Gorbach

We Take Fluoroquinolone Use Seriously

At FQResearch.org, we take issue with Cipro being a first line drug for anything, and a requirements of as small a number as 5 ‘loose motions’ doesn’t seem to define ‘severe’ diarrhea at all, but ‘moderate’ or even ‘mild’ diarrhea that should easily be able to be managed with a safe over the counter medicine such as Pepto Bismol and drinking plenty of fluids. Gorbach also mentions no minimum amount of time that one should have this ‘severe’ diarrhea. So, having diarrhea for one day, so long as you seek medical attention for it, would constitute reason to prescribe a drug with several black box warnings of lifelong disability, according to him.

Indeed, a study in children found doctors did exactly that, and gave children a Quinolone as a first-line drug for watery diarrhea, and a significant number of children got a Bizarre Brain Condition from Quinolone Drugs. The authors of THAT study concluded that the children who were given the Quinolones for watery diarrhea were given it ‘inappropropriately’ and that the doctors could have avoided any of these children getting this serious brain condition by  “sticking to oral rehydration solution alone in the treatment of acute watery diarrhoea”. 2. In other words, they didn’t need a drug at all, just fluids and time!

Additionally, giving antibiotics for diarrhea can likely end in getting Antibiotic Associated Diarrhea caused by the same ‘bugs’ that cause Bacterial Food Poisoning, or even worse, they could get the C Diff Bacteria that each year infects 1/2 million people and kills 29,000. So, should you be given antibiotics for diarrhea when those antibiotics can give you lifelong chronic diarrhea that could be so serious as to kill you? If you are unfamiliar with the dangers of this class of antibiotics, we encourage you to read the Introduction to Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics in order to understand their dangers better.

Inappropriate Diarrhea Treatment

He states his opinion that “…a person who is sufficiently ill with acute diarrhoea to seek medical attention wants to receive treatment that will provide prompt relief.” However, they almost certainly don’t want to be put at risk of lifelong disability in the process of getting such relief. Additionally, patients should not always get what they want, but what is best for them, even if it involves more slightly more suffering from an illness, but increased safety. The physician’s credo is to ‘First, do no harm’ not ‘Give the patient what they want’ or even, “Relieve their suffering at all costs”.

Unfortunately, giving the patient what they want seems to be the ‘standard of care’ over ‘First, do no harm’ as evidenced by recent studies that show that antibiotics are  prescribed inappropriately up to 30% of the time. Even the World Health Organization states,

Worldwide, it is estimated that half of all medicines are inappropriately prescribed, dispensed or sold…Growing resistance to antimicrobial medicines is a particularly serious challenge in countries at all economic levels, and results largely from inappropriate prescribing and use.” 3

Other studies have also come to the conclusion that up to 50% of all antibiotic prescribing is done inappropriately, at least in cases of upper respiratory infections 4

In fact, Dr. Golomb’s recommendations INCLUDE the inappropriate prescribing of antibiotics at least 13% of the time, even by his own standards! When he states that his criteria for severe diarrhea give an 87% chance of being bacterial in nature, this means that he actually recommends giving antibiotics inappropriately to the portion that is not bacterial in nature- 13%. How is this responsible prescribing to knowingly give antibiotics for a non-bacterial infection, when antibiotics do not work for non-bacterial infections.

Waiting is Almost As Effective

Except in the case of diarrhea that has progresses so far that serious dehydration or other medical harm is imminent, wouldn’t a culture of the diarrhea to find out IF it is bacterial be prudent?  Since most diarrhea is self-limiting, and antibiotics only reduce the duration of acute diarrhea by ONE DAY 5  it would not be surprising to find out that this extra time would cause most cases of diarrhea to not need antibiotics at all.

In the meantime, any of the many research-proven remedies, such at the ones outlined in Cipro for Diarrhea Part 4: Home remedies for Diarrhea could have been employed while waiting for these test results, both of which have shown to have equal effectiveness to antibiotics for Diarrhea Treatment, while being far safer. Keep reading the next article.

Interested in learning more about the Fluoroquinolones and how to recover from these damaging drugs? we recommend getting The Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Solution. We have worked closely with the authors and were helped immensely by this book and the personal attention we received from them. After spending over $25,000 on doctors and treatments that did not work, we began following the protocol and recovered function more than doing anything else we tried.

We do receive a small commission for each book that sells through the links on our site, and we hope that, if you do choose to purchase this book, you’ll purchase it through our link to help us keep this site running and support our efforts at continuing to educate about the Fluoroquinolones, and help those who were damaged by them. We recommend the book because it worked for us and many others we’ve spoken to, and we highly value the information it contains.

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