Fact Checked

New Antibiotics Could Turn The Tide Against Resistant Diseases

Ever since we first discovered the way that penicillin could destroy bacteria with a simple chemical, the world has been a different place. While vaccines are an effective way to stop viruses from infecting and killing us, antibiotics have allowed us to destroy otherwise fatal diseases like syphilis and tuberculosis. 200 years ago, tuberculosis (known commonly as consumption) would claim the lives of half the people who got active infections, and even those who survived were often weakened for years or even the rest of their lives.

However, we were fighting life forms who could only survive by harming humans and our livestock, life forms that weren’t about to go peacefully into the night, and so began the long bacterial arms race. Every antibacterial we developed would eventually come across a strain of bacteria which could resist it, a strain which would then spread unchecked through the population. As such, we developed new antibiotics to fight them, new resistant strains would arise, and so on.

The upshot is that the original penicillin drug is now completely worthless, and in recent years more and more resistant strains have been popping up, strains we could do nothing about. It doesn’t help that we’re overusing antibiotics at times when we don’t really need to, thus increasing the chances of a resistant strain being born.

However, the war may be set to swing back in our favor. Macrolides are an antibiotic class which is used to fight gonorrhea and (more importantly) pneumonia, and until recently the majority of them were constructed by altering erythromycin, a different class of antibiotic. This limited origin point has been a major factor in limiting macrolides’ effectiveness.

Now, though, a team of researchers has developed a new method that involves eight industrial chemicals which can be individually altered and then combined in different ways to create an astonishing number of antibiotic candidates. The researchers themselves have already developed 300 potential antibiotics, and there are enough combinations out there to create tens of thousands more.

Still, for now it’s too early to celebrate. While some of the drugs have proven themselves against the toughest bacterial strains, there are a lot more studies and test to go through before we’ll know if any of them are safe for humans to take. “Tens of thousands” sounds like an impressive number, but not if it’s tens of thousands of duds.

But if any of these drugs make it to pharmacy shelves, chances are good you’ll be able to get them for less with a USA Rx pharmacy discount card. If you want to sign up for our discount, the process is free and easy: just give us a name to put on the card and an email address to send it to and you’ll be able to get up to 75 percent off of name brands and generics in any of over 60,000 pharmacies nationwide. More information is available if you’d like to call our number at 888-277-3911 or send us an email at [email protected]