The Antibiotic Time Loop-the-Loop

John Connor avatar

by John Connor |

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comedy, antibiotics

Julian, the doorman at the London Comedy Store, is giving me his biweekly telling off about drinking.

It’s biweekly because he and the other regular doorman, Mark, take turns helping me.

I’ve known both of them for more than 30 years, though to be fair, in the 1980s, the relationship was one way — I went past them to get into the club. The only interaction I can remember was at the grand opening of the second Comedy Store venue in Leicester Square, when there was a heaving scrum to get in. Comedy actor Robbie Coltrane — who at the time was one of the leading lights of “The Comic Strip” TV films (you’ll know him today as Hagrid in the Harry Potter films) — was being barred from entry. As one of only two comedy critics in the country then, I had some sway. I vouched for the big man and he was duly let in.

Julian Moses, then. (Courtesy of The Comedy Store)

I think it was the only time in my life that I was a “face.” That’s argot from the British underworld in the ’60s that referred to being a gang member; by the ’80s, it meant anyone that had a bit of influence.

But I digress. It’s nothing to do with the MS, I’ve always been like this.

I don’t, as a rule, disagree with Julian because security is always right. And these days, I have to be thrown into a club before I can be thrown out!

I’d just struggled mightily to get from my wheelchair onto the chairlift. My body was rubber. Julian made sure I didn’t fall. He manhandled me back on the wheelchair and then we started again. This time, we got it right and I made it unscathed up the stairs, then into my own wheelchair, then the taxi, and home.


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It wasn’t the drink — it was failing to take an antibiotic on time. (The literature included with the one I’m currently on, nitrofurantoin, also tells me to stop.) I’ve been struck down with a consistent urinary tract infection (UTI) since the end of November. There’s so little I can do anymore that I’m not going teetotal — I take the pledge!

Julian Moses, now. (Courtesy of Julian Moses)

This ain’t my first rodeo, either. I’ve been riding these scrawly beasts on and off for the last couple of years.

I know I can’t beat MS — I can slow it with disease-modifying therapies — but I have found some solutions to all the tertiary afflictions that MS chucks at me. These include: trigeminal neuralgia, which I’ve found a brilliant medication for; lymphedema, which has been reduced with tight bandaging; and when I could walk more easily, a functional electrical stimulation device.

My neurologist agrees that it’s due to the lowering of my immune system from Ocrevus (ocrelizumab). The same thing afflicted me after my second round of Lemtrada (alemtuzumab).

This UTI is relentless. It just doesn’t know when it’s beaten. I should start calling it Theresa May!


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Kristin Hardy avatar

Kristin Hardy

John, Nitrofurantoin has a very nasty drug interaction with tizanidine – it makes the drug much more potent and fast acting. Be cautious if you take both. I actually had very good luck with Nitrofurantoin a while back when I had chronic UTIs. According to my urologist, the bladder has a natural coating that discourages bacterial growth. UTIs disrupt that layer, creating a foothold for bacteria. He said taking Nitrofurantoin for 45 days would allow that layer to reform and ward off UTIs going forward. I actually stayed on it for over a year. As for results, I don't wish to tempt fate so I'll just settle for saying it worked as advertised. Might be worth trying, if you haven't done so already.

Laurence Roy avatar

Laurence Roy

My wife has MS and she was having UTI quite often. On antibiotics every 4 to 6 weeks to keep her stable. A specialist checked her over and diagnosed that she had lots of Kidney stones which were collecting in the bladder and causing infections. We spent the most of 2012 back and forth to the hospital a 2 hour drive each way dealing with the stones. By early 2013 her antibiotics were used less often and by 2014 she was only getting a UTI maybe every 6 months. The kidney treatments with sound and then actually going in and removing the stones made a big difference.

Karen avatar


I love your fighting spirit and humour!

RG avatar


Sending my best wishes across the sea that you beat that UTI asap! Mind over UTI - add the power of your thoughts to the treatment. I truly believe it adds up to a win. My mantra, when struck with total blindness due to Optic Neuritis was, "My brain can and will find new neural pathways so I can see again". Now, I can see again. I'm sure your very smart mind can beat those tiny bacteria. ?

Barbara Barton avatar

Barbara Barton

I have having UTI'S too but I take a lot of supplements. Mine are much better. I was only diagnosed in Jan of 2015 at age 66, which is very rare at that age. The only thing that helps my UTI is Cipro. Works great. I am also on Cannabis Oil and that has helped me more than anything as far as pain and mobility.

Steven B avatar

Steven B

My UTI turned into sepsis and death became a reality. UTI's are brutal for MS patients.

Charlotte Greene avatar

Charlotte Greene

I used to have frequent UTI's and my neurologist recommended that I not take Ocrevus because of my frequent infections. I have PPMS and that really bummed me out. So I found that high doses of cranberry extract every day and CBD oil stopped the infections and I haven't had any infections in over a year. The other benefits of taking CBD were that many of my severe symptoms from PPMS went away. I no longer fall, have no spasticity, have reduced all meds, and depression, anxiety, and PTSD are all reduced to a tolerable level without having to take more meds. I still am not taking any MS meds.

Margo Casey avatar

Margo Casey

Wow! What brand CBD? Oil? Or spray?

Jumpytrader avatar


My son has MS I read these posts. I Have a large bladder stone that gets pushed into a tight spot once in a while, that starts some bleeding which leads to a UTI. I had a very bad experience with this after a episode of food poisoning that was very violent. After a few days I felt like I had a hydraulic jack inside. I was going every 20 minutes and my body was pushing so hard it was actually sending a involuntary motion wave up my spine and to the top of my head. I could not believe my body could stand that much force and I am 67. I could HAVE lifted a car if I could have controlled that force.
The emergency room said it was the infection and gave me antibiotics. They took 2 days to work!
So I also have used Cranberry extract capsules and some old antibiotics to stop the UTI flare ups.
But recently I was out of both and had to try Rum as a last resort. I guzzeled about a 3rd of 5th size bottle and laid down and managed to sleep for 2 hours after having to go every 20 minutes. So I repeated another one 3rd of the bottle and went 6 hours. I finished the bottle before bed the next night after a normal day just a prevention.
It worked for me But I don't have MS so Be cautious of you need to try it.

Mike Nguyen avatar

Mike Nguyen

awesome information but need to know that

How long do antibiotics take to start working?


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