Fluoroquinolones: Possible overestimation of antibiotics for prolonged exposure
Health experts repeatedly criticize doctors for high-risk antibiotics too often. In this context, fluoroquinolones are often mentioned. This medicine can be associated with serious, life-threatening and potentially prolonged side-effects.
Medicinal products with undesirable effects
Although the use of antibiotics is clinically necessary for the treatment of many diseases, it is often critically evaluated. Finally, studies have shown that these medicines are often associated with serious side effects. Fluoroquinolones agents are particularly criticized. They can lead to a long lasting quality of life that affects and, possibly, sustained side effects, especially tendons, muscles, joints and nervous system. Therefore, EMA wants to strictly restrict its regulation to the EMEA.
Important broadband antibiotics
According to the German Federal Institute of Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM), fluoroquinolones and quinolones are a class of broad-spectrum antibiotics that work both on different gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria.
This medicine is an important treatment option for various infectious diseases, including some life-threatening cases where other antibiotics are not effective enough.
However, the use of preparations is also associated with undesirable effects, therefore the Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee (PRAC) has recommended the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to restrict their use.
For this reason, BfArM reports indicate serious, quality of life and potentially prolonged side-effects associated with fluoroquinolones and quinolones administered orally, by injection or by inhalation.
Patients are advised to discontinue treatment after the first signs of adverse effects affecting the muscles, tendon or joints, or the nervous system.
According to the BfArM data, the restrictions on antibiotics containing fluoroquinolones mean that they should not be used:
- treatment for infections that are lost without treatment or which are not severe (eg, inflammation of the throat).
- non-bacterial infections such as non-bacterial (chronic) prostatitis.
- to prevent traveler diarrhea or recurrent lower urinary tract infections (those that do not belong to the bladder).
- It can not be used to treat mild to moderate infections, unless this antibiotic is usually recommended for the treatment of these infections.
In addition, it is important that fluoroquinolones should normally be avoided in patients who have previously had a serious adverse reaction associated with fluoroquinolone or quinolones.
Elderly, patients with renal impairment and those undergoing organ transplantation should be used with particular caution, as there is a greater risk of tendon injury in these patient groups.
Since co-administration of corticosteroids with fluoroquinolone also increases this risk, the combined use of these two groups of medicinal products should be avoided.
Information for patients
- Fluoroquinolones containing ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, lomefloxacin, moxifloxacin, norfloxacin, ofloxacin, pefloxacin, prulifloxacin or rufloxacin can cause long-term impairment of quality of life and potentially prolonged side-effects, especially for the tendons, muscles, joints and the nervous system.
- These serious side effects include inflammation of the tendon, tears, muscle pain or weakness, joint pain or joint swelling, difficulty walking, feeling red or tingling, burning pain, fatigue, depression, memory impairment, sleep disturbances, visual or auditory disorientation, altered taste or smell
- Within two days of starting treatment with fluoroquinolone, you may experience swelling of the neck and tendon injuries, and only a few months after the end of treatment.
- Stop fluoroquinolone and contact your doctor immediately
- After the first sign of a tendon injury such as tendon pain or tendon swelling – make the affected area calm.
- if you feel pain, needle inflammation, tingling, numbness, numbness or burning or weakness, especially in legs or arms.
- if you have swelling in your shoulders, arms or legs, difficulty walking, tiredness or depression, sleep disturbances or visual changes in vision, taste, smell, or hearing. You will decide with your doctor whether the treatment will continue, or you will need another type of antibiotic.
- If you are over 60 years of age, have kidney problems or have organ transplants, you may be more susceptible to joint pain or joint swelling or tendon tears.
- If you are taking corticosteroids (such as hydrocortisone and prednisolone), or if you need treatment with corticosteroids, talk to your doctor. If you are taking corticosteroids and fluoroquinolones at the same time, you may be particularly prone to tendon injuries.
- You should not take fluoroquinolone if you have had any serious side effects of fluoroquinolone or quinolone and contact your doctor immediately.
Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions or concerns about your medicine. (Advertising)