Scientists have found evidence supporting what many patients already suspected: antibiotics can disturb the ecology of the gut. A study of the bacterial populations in three women given ciprofloxacin showed that the beneficial bacteria in their digestive tracts were wiped out.
The effect occurred quickly and it took a long time before a normal balance of bacteria was restored. The scientists suggest that this disruption may be more profound and long-lasting than previously imagined. They urged doctors to exercise restraint in prescribing these powerful drugs.
[Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, online, Sept. 13, 2010]