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A Common Antibiotic May Blind You

A push by the World Health Organization to eliminate trachoma -- the second leading cause of blindness worldwide -- may have hit a standstill, thanks once again to a toxic drug worsening a condition rather than improving it.

Previous research had found patients given the antibiotic Zithromax (azithromycin) one or two times annually reduced the rate of inflammation associated with trachoma that can become so severe the eyelid can become inflamed, forcing eyelashes to stick onto the eyeball.

Researchers tested the antibiotic once again on three villages in Vietnam, two of which received the popular Pfizer antibiotic and the third merely an ointment applied to the eye. In the villages that received Zithromax, however, new cases of trachoma increased and the incidence of re-infections quadrupled.

And, if you think the problem is only one of geography, Canadian researchers discovered a similar surge in re-infections when chlamydia was treated with Zithromax, likely explaining the link to age-related macular degeneration. Cases like these demonstrate why you should be doing all you can to boost your immune system more naturally.

Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 296, No. 12, September 27, 2006

New Scientist September 26, 2006

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