My U.C. started when I was 40 years old after taking a course of clarithromycin for a respiratory infection. The problem with antibiotics like clarithromycin is they don't kill the bad bugs like MAP, c-diff or fusobacterium, but they kill off the healthy flora which lets the bag bugs grow unchecked. The other thing is I remember drinking well water from a farm just a week or so before coming down with U.C., and I've often wondered if that well water was contaminated.
In any case, the three antibiotics used in the combo do target the bad bugs which is why it helps when a single broad spectrum antibiotic can be disastrous.
twiggs, the way I convinced my by-the-book doc at mayo to give the ABX therapy a try was by printing out this study and actually faxing it to him:www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20216533
The experience from Japan was that it did not lead to an increased risk of c-diff which is what my doc was worried about
Getting through the two-weeks was not easy as I am very sensitive to metronidazole. I felt really sick from about
day 3 to about
day 7 or so. The metronidazole caused weird vision disturbances which was a bit scary, but they went away within a few hours and I was fine after that. My U.C. symptoms slowly started to lessen after about
10 days, then I continued to improve to full remission over a period of several weeks after finishing the 2 week course.
The good thing is they are really cheap. I think I got all three for under $20 without even bothering with insurance.
If you look at the numbers from the study, almost half the participants who actually took the antibiotics (rather than placebo) got into remission and were still in remission after a year. And these people had failed a lot of other treatments.