Antibiotics Linked with Delirium

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Delirium is a confused mental state that can occur in patients with certain medical issues like cancer. It usually occur at the advanced stage of cancer. Patients with delirium have problems with the following.
Muscle control.
Sleeping and waking.

Recent studies are linking delirium to the use of antibiotics and the most recent of such is from Dr.Bhattaryya, a neurology instructor at Harvard Medical School and he has this to say; ”the fact that antibiotics can cause confusion has been recognized for many years, but it doesn’t come into the consciousness of many doctors simply because there are many causes of confusion in patients with infection. So being able to find distinct patterns was not something we anticipated. A key point in the study is that different antibiotics caused different types of confusion,” he said. ” Their study recognized 54 varieties of antibiotics and commonly used were ciprofloxacin, intravenous penicillin and cefepime (Maxipime).
The author gathered all cases where antibiotics were used as far back as 1946 and recognized 391 cases of delirium associated antibiotics syndrome with other brain problems. It was noted that half suffered from hallucinations and 14% had seizures, 15% suffered involuntary muscle twisting and 1/4 of the patients had kidney failure and 5% could not control their body.

The researchers said the rate at which antibiotics cause confusion remain unknown and that they also don’t “have a good sense of how prevalent this is, but it’s thought to be under-recognized in health care circles and even less well-known in the general population.”
The researchers noted that elders are most affected in the study and advice doctors to watch out for delirium associated with antibiotics so as to discontinue such antibiotics as soon as it is observed.
Delirium is usually temporary and can be treated but in rear cases, delirium may be permanent due to problems like organ failure. In cancer patients, delirium comes at the last hour before death occur.

1. Shamik Bhattacharyya Etal.M.D., neurologist, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and, instructor, neurology, Harvard Medical School, Boston; online, Neurology
2. National Cancer Institute .
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