The common antibiotic is far more dangerous than we realize. In fact, the drug - often available as an over-the-counter remedy - is responsible for 20 per cent of all drug-related visits to the Accident and Emergency department.
Around 142,000 Americans reacted so badly to an antibiotic that they needed hospital care over a two-year period, according to the latest figures.
The simple antibiotic was just as dangerous as drugs such as warfarin, insulin and digoxin, which have a known track record for causing adverse reactions.
Most of the antibiotic patients went to hospital for an allergic reaction to the drug, although around 20 per cent were for diarrhea, headache and dizziness.
Around 6 per cent had a serious reaction that required them to stay in hospital at least overnight.
(Source: Clinical Infectious Diseases, 2008; 47: 735-43).