Antibiotic Alternatives

A friend shared her story about her most recent visit to a pediatrician.  She was the last patient of the day in a typical 5000 patient practice. She said she spent about 45 seconds with the doctor.  In those brief moments, the doctor explained that her child had an ear infection and prescribed an antibiotic. Thanks and goodbye.  She felt frustrated and let down.  She could not get more information from the doctor, had no time to ask questions, wasn’t able to voice her concerns about antibiotics, and couldn’t discuss alternatives with the doctor.


1 in 5 pediatric sick visits result in a prescription antibiotic.  It is an open secret that we as the medical community can do better when it comes to antibiotic usage.  30 percent of antibiotics are medically unnecessary.  Healthcare providers commonly prescribe antibiotics for upper respiratory infections like common cold and flu, sore throats, bronchitis, asthma, allergies, and sinus and ear infections– caused by viruses and not responsive to antibiotics.


By the age of 20, the average American child will have had 17 courses of antibiotics contributing to physician-caused problems and bacterial resistance to antibiotics, as well as leaving lasting effects on our children’s immune system, gut microbiome, and metabolism. A well-cited and recognized study shows that a single antibiotic administered to a baby before a year old significantly increases that child’s risk of developing asthma.


What are your options?  While it is torture to see your child suffering in sickness, sometimes a wait and see approach is best. Instead of practicing the popular mantra, “Don’t just sit there, do something,” we should consider the opposite as more powerful, “Don’t just do something, sit there!” A host of natural approaches that may be applicable for a first-line treatment are available. We also recognize antibiotics are vital life-saving drugs serving a critical need, however, their overuse will render them ineffective when they are most needed.


If you have visited my office with a sick child the odds are you have left here at some point with a bottle of Biocidin. What is biocidin and why do we use it? Biocidin is a well researched, well tolerated, and effective botanical blend with proven antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. It’s ingredients include:


Bilberry extract (25% anthocyanosides), Noni, Milk Thistle, Echinacea (purpurea & angustifolia), Goldenseal, Shiitake, White Willow (bark), Garlic, Grapeseed extract (min. 90% polyphenols), Black Walnut (hull and leaf), Raspberry, Fumitory, Gentian, Tea Tree oil, Galbanum oil, Lavender oil (plant & flower), Oregano oil (plant & flower).


We use Biocidin before turning to antibiotics for mild to moderate broad spectrum infections. While this works for my practice where we have more time to educate patients and patients have greater accessibility to allow for follow up visits, it may not be right for everyone and you should talk to your healthcare provider.


Here are a few more common visits and possible alternatives to consider. It is important to keep in mind that about half of all children’s ear infections will resolve without use of antibiotics.  Dr. Rusty who has been practicing medicine with a natural approach for over 40 years says that 80% of ear infections will be self-limiting and subside within about 72 hours. His first line treatment for ear infections is a mix of garlic and mullein oil with 1-2 drops in the ear followed by applying warmth.  Depending on the patient he may recommend Motrin for pain relief. Sore throats are another common culprit of childhood sickness and pediatric visits.  80% of sore throats are caused by viruses. Elderberry syrup is an effective treatment with broad-ranging health benefits and immune support for sore throats. Dr. Thornburg will use high dose vitamin D3 once a day for three days along with symptom relief strategies.


Share with us which homeopathic and natural treatments work for you and your family because we are a connected network of families committed to health and wellness.

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