One course of this antibiotic can wipe out good gut bacteria for up to a year. And you’ve probably taken it before. Find out what it is.

Never Take This Antibiotic

In All Health Watch, Big Pharma, Diet and Nutrition, Featured Article by INH Research6 Comments

There’s one commonly prescribed antibiotic you should avoid whenever possible.

A new study finds it is far worse than other drugs in killing the beneficial gut bacteria that keep you healthy.1 And that’s not even the worst of it.

Yet despite the serious side effects, doctors continue to prescribe it in huge quantities. 

This heavy-duty antibiotic is used to combat anthrax.2 But thousands of people take it for less serious conditions. These include sinus infections and traveler’s diarrhea (also known as Montezuma’s revenge).3

A new study looked at how three antibiotics affected the gut flora of adults.

Egija Zaura, PhD, led the study. She and her team discovered this antibiotic was by far the worst of the three. One course of it compromised the gut flora of participants for up to a year.4

And chances are you’ve taken it at least once in your lifetime…

This dangerous antibiotic is ciprofloxacin. Cipro for short.

It belongs to a family of drugs called fluoroquinolones. These destroy beneficial bacteria that produce butyrate. This compound protects your colon from inflammation and tumor development.5,6

But the damage goes beyond gut health. These antibiotics also carry a black box label warning about “serious nerve damage.”7

How serious? This side effect caused one Sarasota doctor so much pain, she could hardly leave her bed. That was after she took the drug to treat a bout of bronchitis. It took her a year to put her life back together.8

Cipro can also cause your Achilles tendon to rupture.9 This can occur even months after discontinuing the drug. The injury usually requires surgery. And even after treatment, you may never again walk normally.

So what should you do if your doctor wants to prescribe cipro to you—or any antibiotic for that matter?

Professor Zaura says, “Certainly we cannot live or survive without antibiotics . . . But there are situations when we should not use them, like when there are no evidence-based reasons.”

Accept antibiotics only when your doctor can confirm bacteria is the source of your sickness. There’s no point in taking them if you have a viral or fungal infection.

If you do need an antibiotic and your doctor recommends Cipro, ask if there is an alternative drug you can take instead.

Then, protect your gut microbiome by eating prebiotic and probiotic foods.

Probiotics are healthy bacteria living throughout your digestive tract. They help you digest foods and produce critical nutrients. You can boost the amount you have by eating these probiotic-rich foods:

  • Kimchi (seasoned, fermented Chinese cabbage)
  • Sauerkraut (fermented cabbage)
  • Kombucha (fermented tea)

And prebiotics are foods that are fuel for probiotics. Examples are:

  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Bananas
  • Artichokes and Jerusalem artichokes

Take a probiotic supplement a few hours after each dose of antibiotics. And continue taking them for a year after your illness has passed. This will help rebuild healthy gut bacteria.

Research shows Lactobacillus strains and S. boulardii are some of the most beneficial bacteria for the gut.10,11 Find a supplement that has both. And be sure it delivers at least 10-15 billion CFUs a day.

In Good Health,

Angela Salerno
Publisher, INH Health Watch

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  1. It’s not just Cipro. It’s any of the Fluoroquinolones
    These medicines include ciprofloxacin (Cipro), gemifloxacin (Factive), levofloxacin (Levaquin), moxifloxacin (Avelox), norfloxacin (Noroxin), and ofloxacin (Floxin)

    Please, please warn your readers against the use of ANY of these drugs.

    1. About 7 years ago I was given AVELOX, and 15 minutes later ambulance was on its way,7 days later released from hospital, told that I have stomach indigestion. Visiting in Canada, given same again,after I took driving back, got of the road out of the car fell backward on asphalt busted my head, bleeding unconscious someone found me and called ambulance. Since than I was taken to hospitals in different states about 30 times. In last 6 Months alone I was taken 6 times to hospitals, 2 time to Windsor hospital,3 times Detroit Michigan area hospital, and 1 time in Bradenton,fl. Now blood pressure ok but heart pulse 130-136 steady.??? Any help ? Mike

    2. Hi Karen,

      You are correct that all fluoroquinolones are dangerous. We have updated the article to address that.

      Thank you for your feedback,

      The INH Team

      1. Zithromax (Z pack) is another antibiotic that is very dangerous. It messes with your heart and has caused fatal heart problems. I am surprised that you are only concentrating on the flourquinolone class of antibiotics, as zithromax is even WORSE!

  2. Took cipro many years ago. I have a question now as I am currently under the weather with upper respiratory and sinusitis..The antibiotic is sulfa derived. I am curious as to whether or not I should eat yogurt and take probiotics while on this med or wait until I come off. I have heard both admonitions however i trust you and Jana..won’t see her until end of this month and would like to know.

  3. We had a doctor suggest Cipro for a UTI. Common. We said NO WAY! It can cause blindness or death. There is no excuse for using it except when no other antibiotic will work. They have ways to test and see.

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