The EZC Pak is a 5-day tapered immune support pack designed by Sarath Malepati, MD, a California physician and Medical Director of the PPC Group.
Over the past decade, Dr. Malepati has come to manage an increasingly larger number of patients requiring hospitalization from ‘superbug’ infections such as MRSA and Clostridium difficile (C. diff) colitis.
In the case of C. diff colitis, C. diff is a normal bacteria in the gut that can overgrow and cause serious, aggressive colon infections when the normal gut flora environment is compromised. This generally occurs during antibiotic exposure for unrelated infections.
C. diff colitis is what is termed an iatrogenic disease—illness caused by medical examination or treatment. There are now 29,000 deaths a year in the US from C. diff infections, a disease that’s incidence can be significantly reduced by improved hand hygiene measures and more conservative antibiotic use.
As Dr. Malepati began looking at the problem of inappropriate antibiotic prescribing and use more broadly, he began to realize that the appropriate management of upper respiratory infections (URIs) was a fundamental problem in the US healthcare system. URIs are the most common infection in humans globally, with the average person getting between 2-3 a year. Eighty percent of these infections are viral and cannot be treated with antibiotics, which only treat bacterial infections.
He observed that many patients come to primary and urgent care offices requesting antibiotics for runny noses, coughs, sore throats, and earaches when none are necessary. Often patients request specific antibiotics by name, stating, “This is what my doctor always gives me.” Others state, “My doctor has been giving me this antibiotic for a long time. It doesn’t work for me anymore. Can you prescribe me something stronger?”
Reviewing the literature further, Dr. Malepati found that antibiotic resistance rates have been steadily increasing over the past several decades, now ranging from 15-60% for certain conventional antibiotics used for common bacterial infections.
This troubled Dr. Malepati immensely. It became apparent to him that many providers feel pressured to prescribe specific drugs or interventions that they may or may not realize are unnecessary that can have harmful consequences for both the patient and our collective public health.
Antibiotic misuse has serious health implications for the individual taking them by eliminating normal bacteria that regulate critical body functions. Inappropriate antibiotic use also selects for drug resistant organisms, or ‘super bugs’ that cannot be eradicated by conventional methods. Despite these dangers, many patients with URIs continue to request antibiotics that cannot and should not be used to treat viral infections.
Drug resistance is, “an increasingly serious threat to global public health that requires action across all government sectors and society.”World Health Organization (WHO)
Given their limited options, providers often feel pressured to prescribe antibiotics for viral URIs when they are not necessary. Some physician groups even recommend writing antibiotic prescriptions for viral URIs to satisfy the patient request and then discouraging them from filling their prescriptions. This is less than ideal.
“We’re approaching a cliff with antibiotic resistance…Clinicians and health care systems need to improve prescribing practices. And patients need to recognize that there are both risks and benefits to antibiotics — more medicine isn’t best; the right medicine at the right time is best.”Tom Frieden, MD, MPH, Director of the CDC
It is with this problem in mind that Dr. Malepati developed EZC Pak as an over the counter supplement.
Utilizing the best existing data on each of the pak’s core components, the EZC Pak is a convenient 5-day tapered immune support pack designed to nutritionally support the immune system, relieve pressure for unnecessary prescriptions and assist providers with the Watch and Wait Approach when deemed appropriate.
EZC Pak is not a substitute or replacement for any drug or treatment, antibiotic or otherwise, when deemed appropriate by one’s treating physician or licensed medical provider.
Suggested use is one E capsule, made of certified organic Echinacea, and one ZC capsule, consisting of zinc and vitamin C. The capsules themselves are vegetarian. EZC is recommended at higher frequency at initiation then subsequently tapered off over 5 days.
By using high quality ingredients that are appropriately formulated, the EZC Pak is designed to be well tolerated and minimize side effects.
"We like doing the right thing, encouraging our friends and colleagues to do the right thing, and collectively seeing our patients get better. Ultimately, EZC Pak is about helping people."Sarath Malepati, MD, EZC Pak Creator