While there undoubtedly is a time and place for antibiotic prescriptions to be effective, we are hearing more and more about the potential for devastating consequences from the inappropriate use of antibiotics. From antibiotic resistance, to pollution of our livestock, to damaging our gut bacteria, the other side of the antibiotic "miracle" is becoming more apparent day by day.
And aside from these issues, there are direct side effects that have long been a source of concern. For example, one group of antibiotics, called the aminoglycosides, has been associated with damage to the kidneys as well as nerve damage in the brain that can lead to vertigo and hearing loss. Other antibiotics, like the fluoroquinolones can cause memory issues and other brain problems, muscle issues, profound fatigue, and even rupture of tendons.
Researchers have long sought to understand how it is that using a chemical designed to specifically target bacteria could actually bring about such damaging effects on human cells.