Commonly used antibiotics may lead to heart problems

Posted on September 14, 2019

Therapeutic Evaluation Unit found that current users of fluoroquinolone antibiotics, such as Ciprofloxacin or Cipro, face a 2.4 times greater risk of developing aortic and mitral regurgitation, where the blood backflows into the heart, compared to patients who take amoxicillin a different type of antibiotic. Recent studies have also linked the same class of antibiotics to other heart problems.

For the study, scientists analyzed data from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's adverse reporting system. They also analyzed a massive private insurance health claims database in the U.S. that captures demographics, drug identification, dose prescribed and treatment duration. Researchers identified 12,505 cases of valvular regurgitation with 125,020 case-control subjects in a random sample of more than nine million patients. They defined current fluoroquinolone exposure as an active prescription or 30 days prior to the adverse event, recent exposure as within days 31 to 60, and past exposure as within 61 to 365 days prior to an incident. Scientists compared fluoroquinolone use with amoxicillin and azithromycin.

Results showed that the risk of aortic and mitral regurgitation, blood backflow into the heart is highest with current use, followed by recent use. They saw little increased risk aortic and mitral regurgitation with past use. Researchers hope that this study helps to inform the public and physicians that for patients for cardiac issues, where no other causes has been discovered, fluoroquinolone antibiotics could potentially be a cause.

Researchers hope that if other studies confirm these findings, regulatory agencies would add the risk of aortic and mitral regurgitation to their alerts as potential side effects and that the results would prompt physicians to use other classes of antibiotics as the first line of defense for uncomplicated infections.

Source material from Science Daily

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