Vista Urology | Unnecessary Use of Antibiotics

When Will Men Be Treated As Well As Chickens?

December 11, 2017

"The top US poultry producer stopped using antibiotics on its birds this summer."

"The second-largest poultry company in the world announced today (Feb. 21) it would stop using antibiotics on its chickens by June 2017."

Tyson Foods, which slaughters more than 2.3 billion birds each year, made the announcement at a recent Consumer Analyst Group of New York conference in Boca Raton, Florida. The decision to end the use of antibiotics is expected to cover all of the company’s branded chicken products, as well as the NatureRaised Farms brand.

For years, companies have been working on ways reduce the amount of antibiotics they use on animals raised for human consumption, as leading scientists have concluded the practice has contributed to the emergence of human illnesses that are no longer treatable with common antibiotics."

Dr. Potts has been a proponent of healthy animals and healthy meats for years. Similarly, she has been very concerned and conservative about the use of antibiotics in human medicine, having abandoned the empiric use of antibiotics in men with presumed prostatitis since 1996. In publications and in over 100 lectures worldwide, she has stated, "if you're tempted to write a prescription for an antibiotic for this man, move your hand away from the prescription pad and perform a localization culture first." You see, the yield of a localization culture or three glass test is so slow, that doctors are justified in not performing them. That is, if performing and ordering a quantitative culture on the first 10 cc of urine (VB1- representing the urethra flora) and on the midvoid urine (VB2- representing the bladder flora) and on the expressed prostatic secretions or 10 cc of urine following a prostate massage (VB3- representing the prostate flora), rarely confirms the presence of an infection, then, why do it? (As you can imagine, it is labor intensive.) However, this legitimate excuse doesn't hold any water when the same physician will prescribe a 4 week course of ciprofloxacin in patients who usually have no fever and no abnormality in their urinalysis.

After 21 years of data, from her and many others, showing that most cases of pelvic pain in men are not due to prostatitis nor infection, the use of antibiotics in this setting has not decreased or improved. Even after the FDA issued warnings about the use of flouroquinolones, first in 2008, stating, "flouroquinolones are associated with increased risk of tendonitis and tendon rupture," and again in 2013, warning of "serious side effect of peripheral neuropathy," which can occur soon after the drug is taken and may be permanent, the drug is still widely used in men with symptoms of prostatitis, but never proven to have an infection. According tot he FDA, doctors should also be aware of rare side effects of central neurologic toxicity and cardiotoxicity.

We're glad to see that public outcry worked for the chickens and one of the sources of our food. Maybe one day, men with lower urinary tract symptoms will be carefully evaluated instead of being subjected to unnecessary and harmful antibiotics