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Posts: 81
Reply with quote  #1 
hello guys, bit of a melt down today. Can taking high dose antibiotics for years have long term health affects?
My health anxiety through the roof at moment and petrified it's going to increase my risk to cancer or auto immune diseases [frown]

Posts: 1,040
Reply with quote  #2 
Firstly, its completely understandable to have concerns about taking long term medication.    Absolutely no one wants to stay on medication any longer than they have to.

Antibiotic use is widespread, indeed between 2000 and 2015, antibiotic consumption, expressed in defined daily doses (DDD), increased 65%. Used properly, antibiotics manage life-threatening infections.

No medication, whether it is by prescription or available over the counter, should be utilized without some consideration of the potential for toxic effects. Liver blood tests should take place every six months through the GP and your specialist will have encouraged this with you.  

However remember that the physician caring for you does not prescribe medicine dosages without significant safety concerns for the patient and keeps scrupulous medical records noting side effects.  You will not be kept on medications that could potentially cause side effects.  

With regards to low dose medication rather than high dose, the issues arise due to the bacteria. This prophylaxis method of treatment can cause antibiotic resistance due to

  • the antibiotic dosage level prescribed.
  • the mutation of bacteria to that particular antiobiotic ,
  • bacterial response to the presence of antibiotics by modifying their cell surfaces. In particular, the amounts of molecules called lipids, which are present in the cell membrane, can be reduced. This makes it more difficult for low dose antibiotics to penetrate bacterial cells. Importantly, this process requires no mutation.
  • bacteria not susceptible the antibiotic increasing and dominating the urinary microbiome thus continuing the infection
  • the bacterial ability to evade antibiotic treatment through the creation of embedded intracellular or biofilm infections.

In due course, new in-bladder treatments to penetrate the bladder wall and eradicate embedded/biofilm infections will be offered and these are currently in research development. This will place less reliance on antibiotic usage, something that will hopefully benefit current and future chronic UTI sufferers.

A medical development company in the UK are currently working on a nanobubble encapsulation in-bladder treatment specifically for Urinary Tract Infections.  Antibiotics will be placed into the bladder wall via an enhanced catheter delivery system and once in place they will then be activated to eradicate intracellular embedded infections. The development project evolved from within a group based at University College London.  I should add that your specialist is involved in all this development.

Ultimately it is entirely down to you as to how long you wish to remain in treatment and how you feel it is helping your quality of life.  Talk with your specialist at your next appointment to help calm you. However I'd also caution about reading too much on Dr Google.


Posts: 81
Reply with quote  #3 
Thank you susan. That's helped alot x

Posts: 18
Reply with quote  #4 
Hi Sophs , I agree it is anxiety provoking! I,ve just been to see a Chinese doctor and am going to try some herbs and continue with acupuncture which has helped. If you look at Andrew Flowers research into uti and herbs it’s quite interesting and there are other studies too. It,s an alternative that might complement antibiotics and hopefully, in time, reduce the need for them.
Any improvement for you yet?

Posts: 81
Reply with quote  #5 
Hey jude, most definitely! I've been suffering health anxiety and ptsd from an incident with nhs back in 2016 so I'm a bit wobbly anyway so taking the antibiotics have sent my anxiety to another level!
I did look into chinese herbs but the doctor i spoke to said i didn't have an infection and that i had sticky mucus in the bladder from soft drinks and that it needed flushing out ( i was skeptical of his theory as i rarely drink them ) and went for the prof instead as i couldn't afford both.
I will be honest i don't know if its placebo affect or what but i had a flare last sunday and the urge was so bad but by monday it had gone. So I'm guessing something is working?
I think it would usually last at least a few days!
I'm just a right mess at moment. I keep looking at my children and panicking i won't see them grow up.

Posts: 18
Reply with quote  #6 
Hi Sophs. You will definitely see your children grow up and this will all be behind you! That Chinese doctor didn,t sound quite right! Mine wasn’t,t promising anything just that it might help, the cost of all these things is high isn,t it and you have to choose your road and stick with it. It,s difficult waiting to get better and it,s a very rocky road but you will get there, don,t give up yet sounds like you have an improvement whatever it,s due to!

Posts: 20
Reply with quote  #7 
Hi Sophs, have you joined the Facebook group for the Prof's patients.  There is loads of support on there, all from women with the same problem as us.  It might be of some use to you?  You have to email BHUK and they will give you info on how to join.  Your antibiotics sound like they are working, I'm on the high dose of cephalexin now, 4g a day and not sure if its helping or not yet!
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