Taking antibiotics can raise the risk of heart-related problems. Research by Canadian scientists published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology shows that the use of common antibiotic fluoroquinolones (FQ) is associated with an increase in adverse cardiac events, including aneurysm and aortic dissection. Patients taking FQ medication are more than twice as likely to suffer from an adverse cardiac event when compared to users of amoxicillin and azithromycin, a different class of antibiotics.
The researchers used data from 9,053,240 patients from the U.S. PharMetrics Plus database and the FDA’s adverse reporting system. Exposure to antibiotics was categorized as per the last date of intake. Current exposure was measured at 30 days prior to the date, recent exposure was usage within 31 to 60 days and past usage meant 61 to 365 days prior to date.
The study, meant to gauge the effects of the common antibiotic FQ, used the amoxicillin and azithromycin users as the control group. The risk of aortic and mitral regurgitation was found to be 2.4 times higher in current users and 1.75 times higher in recent users. The researchers found no risk among past users.