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Antibiotics in Danger.

The next time you end up with food poisoning, a urinary tract infection, or pneumonia, don't be surprised if the doctor prescribes a fluoroquinolone like the broad-spectrum antibiotic Cipro.

And don't be surprised if the drug doesn't work.

In May, researchers reported that Campylobacter, a bacteria that causes food poisoning, is becoming resistant to fluoroquinolones. The reason: poultry farmers treat their entire flocks with the drug.

"The Food and Drug Administration caved in to drug-industry pressure when it approved fluoroquinolones for treating flocks of poultry,' said Patricia Lieberman, director of CSPI's Antibiotic-Resistance Project.

"If fluoroquinolones fail, doctors still have one more drug to treat people who get food poisoning from Campylobacter,' she adds. "But there is no other drug to treat Salmonella infections. If Salmonella becomes resistant, food poisoning could be fatal.'

To urge the FDA to ban fluoroquinolones in poultry, write to FDA Commissioner Jane E. Henney at 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, Maryland 20857 (khamric@oc.fda.gov).
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Publication:Nutrition Action Healthletter
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Jul 1, 1999
Words:159
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