Scientists have reportedly created thousands of new drug combinations in an effort to fight the growing antibiotic resistance problem.

Researchers from the University of California in Los Angeles have discovered thousands of new drug combinations that could help combat antibiotic resistance. The collection of around 8,000 new drug combinations are said to be composed of four and five pills that the researchers found effective.

The researchers were blown away by the discovery since combining multiple drugs together often produces less effective results. This is because the drugs can cancel out each other or can have dangerous interactions. Discovering the new mixes is now deemed as a significant step in strengthening public health protection, the researchers claim.

The UCLA biologists used a methodical testing system to determine the thousands of new combinations.

“There is a tradition of using just one drug, maybe two. We’re offering an alternative that looks very promising,” Pamela Yeh, another researcher from UCLA, was quoted as saying.

“We shouldn’t limit ourselves to just single drugs or two-drug combinations in our medical toolbox. We expect several of these combinations, or more, will work much better than existing antibiotics.”

~ Pamela Yeh

To come up with the 8,000 new drug combinations, the UCLA team used eight antibiotics, running through four and five combinations to know their effectiveness against E. Coli. In total, the team tested over 18,000 separate drug cocktails with varying doses. The list of new drug mixes is composed of 1,676 four-drug and 6,443 five-drug cocktails that were found to be effective.

“I was blown away by how many effective combinations there are as we increased the number of drugs. People may think they know how drug combinations will interact, but they really don’t,” Van Savage, the study’s senior author and a professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Biomathematics at UCLA, said.

Despite the effectiveness of the new drugs, the researchers said that using them in actual treatments are still years away from now since the study only shows the potential effects of the drug mixes in laboratory settings and only against one kind of bacteria.

In what other ways do you believe the health sector could fix the antibiotic resistance problem?

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