A recent study has revealed that there is an unusual link between asthma and antibiotic exposure. Antibiotics are known to have side effects. The severity of these side effects may range from simple rashes to anaphylaxis, which represents a life-threatening condition and mimics the symptoms of an asthmatic attack. Drugs that produce an “allergic response” are toxic and, sometimes, the side effects are symptoms of poisoning. Some antibiotics that can cause asthma are cephalosporins, spiramycin, penicillin, erythromycin, ampicillin and tetracycline. These are just a few of the drugs that have been published in the study. In these case, the correlation between antibiotic and asthma has been reported in several countries.
Link between Antibiotic and Asthma
Researchers included risk factors such as lifestyle, genetics and home environment in their studies. Conducting analyses within families with multiple children, they found that the link vanished between antibiotics and asthma during pregnancy. In a lot of families with an asthmatic sibling, the others did not develop the condition, even though they were all exposed to antibiotics in early life. Researchers found a link between antibiotic use during pregnancy and asthma in offspring.
The Vanishing Link
The second part of the study examined the children who were administered antibiotics, comparing the risk of developing asthma the child was treated for infections of the respiratory system, skin or urinary tract. The team found out that the risk was higher after a child was treated for a respiratory infection. The link to asthma was mistaken for a respiratory infection, which was eventually treated with antibiotics. When the researchers analyzed the children taking into consideration respiratory, skin and urinary tract infections, they noticed that the link disappeared again.
Explanation of the Phenomenon
The wheezing, shortness of breath and coughing that are the main symptoms of the condition occur as a result of the lungs over-contracting. Factors such as cold air, allergy triggers, exercise and fumes stimulate these symptoms. Some scientists claim the rise in childhood asthma is due to the fact that children nowadays are much too protected and live in a “sterile” existence. This was, of course, compared to the previous generations. Because the kids are less exposed to micro-organisms and dirt, they do not build up the immunity they desperately need. Other experts believe that changes in their diet are causing this epidemic. The particles that are caused by pollution stand before us while they can penetrate the lungs and trigger asthmatic flares.
The authors of the study found a significant relationship between asthma and antibiotic use within the first year of life. The relationship between asthma and respiratory symptoms was held by antibiotics used for respiratory reasons. The findings suggest that the association may be due to reverse the side effects of respiratory infections.
The controversial results of these studies should make us think twice before swallowing another pill. If we consume the wrong one, we might end up even sicker than before.