Until now, you thought that the frustrations of “one size fits all” were limited to . . . fit. You associated it with the gloves that wouldn’t squeeze over your hands, the hat that couldn’t encompass your crown, the belt that didn’t quite make it around your waist and even the car that refused to compensate for your legs. You hated feeling larger than “all” but accepted it as a frivolous fact of life. It wasn’t really hurting you, just deterring you from experiencing the comforts an “average” person enjoys. But it turns out that the “one size fits all” error may stretch beyond clothing and seating options, into your health.
Pharmaceutical companies work under the assumption that everyone is between 150 and 170 pounds. As such, antibiotics are created for those people. If you weigh more than that, particularly if you are morbidly obese, certain medications may not work. They won’t be absorbed as readily into your body, and you will be relying on a largely ineffective treatment. The continual short-term dosage will, however, do one thing for you; it will enable a resistance buildup. The bacteria in your body will morph to become impervious to the antibiotic, regardless of amount. You’ll have strengthened rather than weakened the infection. So what should you do instead?
What you shouldn’t do is begin increasing dosage amounts on your own. Just as there is a fine line between ineffective and effective, there is a fine line between effective and toxic. Opting to swallow another pill because you believe that two will match your size could easily lead to overdose. A drug’s distribution varies not just with weight but with age, kidney function and overall health. Instead, talk to your doctor about your concerns. If it’s something that he is alerted to, he can consider if better treatments exist. They may not yet. This is a complicated issue, but being aware will give you the start of an advantage. And that is something.
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