Ever since the discovery of penicillin almost 90 years ago, antibiotics have been a kind of wonder drug, giving humanity the upper hand in the endless war against deadly bacteria.
But lately, medical science has been opening its eyes to the hidden costs of antibiotic overuse.
There are those drug-resistant super bugs to worry about, but antibiotic overuse could play a role in the rise of major health problems such as asthma, allergies and obesity because of the drugs' effects on the human microbiome.
Dr. Martin Blaser, M.D., director of the Human Microbiome Program at New York University and author of "Missing Microbes: How the Overuse of Antibiotics is Fueling Our Modern Plagues."
- "Because everyone has thought that antibiotics are ‘free,’ there has been a tendency by both doctors and parents to over-prescribe them and to over-want them."
This segment aired on May 19, 2014.