Penicillin may cause children to become angry in later life, a study has found.

Low doses of the common antibiotic sparked long-term behavioural changes in mice – leading experts to believe the findings may also ring true in humans, shares Daily Mail.

By altering chemical levels in the brain and the balance of gut bacteria, the rodents displayed signs of elevated levels of aggression.

However, giving them a form of probiotic helped to prevent the ‘detrimental’ effects, researchers claim.

The findings add substance to an ever-growing body of research that links mental health to a balance of microbes in the stomach.

A range of other studies have shown similar behavioural effects of giving antibiotics to adult animals.

But the new research, by McMaster University, Ontario, was the first to specifically test the effects of penicillin.

Lead author, Dr John Bienenstock, said: ‘There are almost no babies in North America that haven’t received a course of antibiotics in their first year of life.

‘In this paper, we report low-dose penicillin taken late in pregnancy and in early life of mice offspring, changes behaviour and the balance of microbes in the gut.

‘While these studies have been performed in mice, they point to popular increasing concerns about the long-term effects of antibiotics.

‘Furthermore, our results suggest that a probiotic might be effective in preventing the detrimental effects of the penicillin.’

But writing in the journal Nature Communications, he warned that the drugs can also be found in meat and dairy products – despite a crackdown.

He added: ‘If mothers are passing along the effects of these drugs to their as yet unborn children, this raises further questions about the long-term effects of our society’s consumption of antibiotics.’

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  • wow that is a shocking find. obviously they should do more research to establish what is happening there. interesting research though


  • It’s amazing where modern medicine is taking us these days. Thanks for the article – do hope the GP’s take notice.


  • There are some variations of peniccillin. I can’t take Rondomycin as it gives me tremors yet I can take others with no side effects. I can’t take sulpha as it gives it gives me an itchy rash that looks like heat rash. Some it causes Oral Thrush with gradually goes through your body. Females it often becomes Vaginal Thrush – red, raw and painful.


  • Really I can’t trust any type of medication for our health


  • Only use antibiotics when absolutely necessary


  • I always use probiotics in the case of antibiotics usage, but prefer not to use antibiotics.


  • This is not surprising to me.


  • that would explain a lot about my step children…


  • Interesting read. I do think antibiotics should be limited in children. My son obviously only had them when it was absolutely necessary.


  • Interesting article. Thank you for sharing.


  • I think, as usual, it all comes down to how much and how often. Sometimes we just can’t avoid penicillin


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