Antibiotics are an important tool in a physician’s arsenal, but evidence suggests that prescribing antibiotics may not always be the best initial course of action, even when that antibiotic has been proven effective against the offending bacterial infection. Antibiotics may cause a long-term dysbiosis, an alteration of the gut flora, which could also lead to chronic yeast infections in women. Considering alternatives to antibiotic therapy might be preferable in many cases once the side effects have been weighed against the possible benefits.

One common use of antibiotic therapy is to combat clostridium difficile, but some studies have shown that a simple fecal transplant can resolve a C. diff infection with 90-95% effectiveness in about 48 hours. Since the prevalence of antibiotic resistance increases year after year, perhaps the use of antibiotics should be limited to severe or urgent cases and infections that are unresponsive to alternative treatments.

Vincent Pedre, MD
Pedre Integrative Health: Medical Director