Antibiotic use in early life can increase the risk for adult allergies. An extensive study has shown that it’s not a good idea for children below the age of two to take antibiotics. This could expose them to hay fever and eczema in adulthood.
The study comprised over half a million people and 32 observational smaller scale studies. It revealed that those who use antibiotics below the age of two exhibit an increased risk for allergies when they grow up.
The conclusions were presented by researcher Fariba Ahmadizar- PharmD from the Utrecht University in the Netherlands. The European Respiratory Society International Congress of 2016 was a good place to exchange opinions over this new body of research.
Ahmadizar pointed out that some previous studies have found the same connection between early exposure to antibiotics and the chance of becoming allergic in adulthood, but the studies were small scale.
For the new study, scientists looked at two major databases of observational studies, spanning from 1966 through 2015.
The team of experts found that the risk for eczema and hay fever rose by up to 56 percent in people who had taken antibiotics.
Researchers revealed the reasons behind this connection. Antibiotics kill microorganisms in the gut. Current antibiotics can’t target a specific microbe, so they kill good and bad microorganisms. This means that the body is exposed to more allergies and possibly decreased immunity. So the body has fewer ways to defend itself.
Another important issue is that the excessive use of antibiotics leads to superbugs. These are superinfections which become resistant to a wide range of antibiotics. This happens because people use antibiotics too often and infections learn to bypass medication and become immune to it.
Dr. Jonathan Spergel, from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, noted that there are many impacts of early antibiotic use.
He also believes that it is essential to get vaccinated where possible. People shouldn’t stop treating significant infections with antibiotics. Antibiotics save lives and they are successfully used to treat meningitis and pneumonia.
However, people should not use them for a common cold. Many antibiotics can cause other diseases. So people are advised to require medical advice and not treat themselves.
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