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PAC without symptoms needn't raise an alarm

By Keith Roach, M.D. on

ANSWER: There has been a shift. Physicians are trying to prescribe fewer antibiotics overall in order to address the problem of antibiotic resistance. Antibiotics are effective against bacteria, and many times they have been prescribed for viral infections, for which they are ineffective.

Penicillin is active against many types of bacteria, but it is considered the best treatment only for a relatively few infections. I seldom prescribe actual penicillin.

Erythromycin also is effective against many types of bacteria. It is used less often now because newer antibiotics (azithromycin and clarithromycin in particular) are as effective or more effective and have fewer side effects.

I hope you find a physician you trust as much as your former physician.

DR. ROACH WRITES: A recent column on bad taste in the mouth (dysgeusia) generated some interesting letters, which I wanted to share. One person noted that her symptoms seemed to be from eating a certain type of pine nuts, and disappeared when she switched to Italian pine nuts (pignoli). I also heard from a person who said that eating a small amount of peanut butter solved the problem, while a clinician wrote to say he had good results prescribing probiotics. I don't know if any of these suggestions will help, but I doubt they will hurt.

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Dr. Roach regrets that he is unable to answer individual letters, but will incorporate them in the column whenever possible. Readers may email questions to ToYourGoodHealth@med.cornell.edu or request an order form of available health newsletters at 628 Virginia Dr., Orlando, FL 32803. Health newsletters may be ordered from www.rbmamall.com.

(c) 2018 North America Syndicate Inc.

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